December 23, 2018
Netanyahu at start of Cabinet meeting.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the following remarks this morning, Sunday, at the start of the Cabinet meeting:
"The decision to withdraw 2,000 US troops from Syria will not change our consistent policy: We will continue to act against Iran's attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria, and to the extent necessary, we will even expand our actions there.
I would like to reassure those who are concerned. Our cooperation with the US will continue in full and finds expression in many areas: Operations, intelligence and many other security spheres.
On the Lebanese border, Operation Northern Shield is proceeding as planned. On Thursday we blew up an additional terror tunnel and we poured in concrete and sealed another one. This operation will continue in the coming weeks until its completion in order to deny Hezbollah the tunnels weapon. The operation is meeting its timetable and its objectives.
Three years ago we in the Cabinet decided that we would demand a fundamental change in the enforcement of planning and building laws and for the first time since the 1960's, we enacted a reform that substantially changed the enforcement of planning and building laws. Since the law took effect, enforcement against illegal construction has increased by hundreds of percent and we have already seen a decline of dozens of percent in new construction offenses.
I said then that we would not allow two States of Israel: A state of laws and a state of the wild west. We are enforcing the law today in the wild west as well and I am pleased to tell you that it is far less wild. We will hear a briefing on these actions and we will continue to monitor the implementation.
This weekend I will leave on a historic visit to Brazil. Upon my arrival I will meet with President-elect Jair Bolsonaro and later with other leaders as well.
There are two ways to generate growth in the Israeli economy: One is to create new products and the other is to open new markets. Brazil is a huge market, almost 250 million people; the opening of this gigantic market will create new jobs in Israel and will greatly help the Israeli economy.
This visit will also bring important diplomatic news: A 'turnaround' in Israel's relations with the largest country in Latin America. Step by step, methodically and persistently, we are turning Israel into a rising global power."