Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu congratulated Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz on his joining the government coalition during his opening remarks at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.
is the first meeting of the broad-based unity government and in the
name of all the ministers I congratulate Mofaz and all the Kadima MKs on
their having joined the government," Netanyahu stated.
The prime minister reiterated the four main goals
of the national unity government which he laid out last week - passing
an alternative to the Tal Law, changing the electoral system, passing a
budget and advancing the peace process.
Netanyahu stated that a
multi-party team would be formed sometime this week to find an
alternative to the Tal Law, which allows ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students
to indefinitely defer IDF service. "By the end of June we will pass a
law that will more equally distribute the burden without pitting sector
against sector," the prime minister said. The High Court of Justice
ruled that the Tal Law was unconstitutional in February.
prime minister said that an additional government team would be formed
soon "that will advance changes to the electoral system." Last week,
Netanyahu and Mofaz said that the coalition's goal was to implement
electoral reform by the end of 2012.
Finance Minister Yuval
Steinitz said before the meeting that he hopes the forming of the
coalition government will enable the passage of a biannual budget. The
finance minister contended that the previous biannual budget
"considerably aided in Israel's successful dealing with the global
economic crisis and therefore we would like to pass another biannual
budget if it is possible."