Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his first “lame duck” weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, and said Israel will deal with the challenges and threats around it in the same way that it did before new elections were called.
The cabinet table was much less crowded on Sunday than it was for the last 18 months, as the seven Yesh Atid and Hatnua ministers who were either fired or quit in recent weeks were absent.
The cabinet heard a briefing from National Security Council head Yoram Cohen, and Netanyahu said that Israel was following developments in the Middle East with great interest, because “a great deal is happening.”
“We will remain constantly with our hand on the pulse, and we will deal with these threats and challenges because they do not take a time-out,” Netanyahu said. “We will deal with them with the same degree of responsibility that we have done up until now.”
Netanyahu also addressed the hospitalization over the weekend of Jonathan Pollard, saying that he spoke with US Secretary of State John Kerry and said that Pollard's bad health was an additional reason to set him free.”
“Jonathan lost consciousness, was hospitalized, and is not healthy,” Netanyahu said. “He is suffering simultaneously from a number of diseases. The time has come, for all the reasons, after 30 years that Jonathan Pollard is released and becomes a free man.”
Netanyahu said Pollard has paid his debt and should get at least the same treatment as others in his position. “We will not stop working until he is returned home, to the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.