(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
1. At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 7 April 2013) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"In recent days, we have witnessed several shocking cases of assaults on the elderly, including Holocaust survivors. We will not tolerate this. We will use the full authority of the Government of Israel to prevent such criminal acts and to severely punish the assailants.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch will brief us today on the steps being taken by the Israel Police to prevent the recurrence of such phenomena. We have a deep obligation to the elderly in general and to Holocaust survivors in particular, first of all to their welfare and also to their security.
Today, the Cabinet will approve a proposal formulated by myself and Finance Minister Yair Lapid on the addition of NIS 50 million to the social welfare fund for the elderly and for Holocaust survivors, and I asked that an additional NIS 15 million be allocated for medicines, to make things easier for them.
These people survived the horrors of the Holocaust. They participated in Israel's wars. They built the State of Israel; they are witnesses to our revival. Our obligation to them is that we will do all that is necessary. We are giving today and we will add whatever is necessary."
2. Finance Minister Lapid briefed ministers on the transfer of NIS 50 million to the basket of services for Holocaust survivors in order to increase support for organizations devoted to the welfare of Holocaust survivors with particular focus on the survivors' various needs including nursing care.
Finance Minister Lapid noted that in the coming budget years a multi-year plan will be implemented regarding support and assistance for Holocaust survivors in the fields of life-saving medicines and nursing care.
It was also noted the social welfare fund for Holocaust survivors will allocate NIS 15 million in grants for medical care and medicines.
3. Public Security Minister Aharonovitch briefed ministers on activity by the Israel Police and the ministry regarding the struggle against violence toward the defenseless, including the elderly. He noted that zero tolerance will be shown for those criminals who assault the defenseless and that the Israel Police will continue to give priority to such offenses.
Israel Police Investigations and Intelligence Branch Commander Yoav Segalovitch pointed out that the police deal with approximately 1,000 cases of violence against the defenseless per annum.
State Attorney's Office and Justice Ministry representatives discussed existing legislation and how the courts are dealing with the issue.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni instructed the State Attorney's Office representatives to work towards implementing stiffer punishments on the issue.
Social Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen and ministry representatives discussed the ministry's activity on the issue. They noted that 5,000 elderly who had suffered abuse were assisted in 2012 and stressed the need for inter-ministerial cooperation.
9. Pursuant to Article 45(b-c) of the 2006 National Road Safety Authority Law, the Cabinet decided to extend the validity of the Law by an additional five years and – in accordance with the recommendation of Transport, National Infrastructures and Road Safety Minister Yisrael Katz – to approve the continued activity of the Authority.