Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz called on Sunday to renew the policy of targeted assassinations against heads of terrorist organizations. According to Mofaz, the assassination of certain key figures had caused a drop in terrorism and urged the Palestinians to request a cease-fire.
Olmert agrees to release $100m. to PA
In an interview to Channel 1, Mofaz said that it was also vital that the cabinet decide on a tactical approach to the Kassam threat.
Earlier Sunday, cabinet ministers unanimously approved a decision reached by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to release $100 million in tax revenue to the PA.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz, meanwhile, addressed the ongoing Kassam rocket fire, saying that it was uncertain that preventing the IDF from operating against the Kassams was actually "working to the benefit of the moderates."
Later Sunday, a Kassam rocket hit an apartment building in Sderot, causing several people to suffer from shock and damaging a building. A power outage was also reported in the street where the Kassam landed.
An hour previously, a rocket landed in open territory outside Sderot. No damage or wounded were reported. Three rockets landed in the western Negev on Sunday afternoon, Channel 2 reported.
Peretz also expressed support for freeing security prisoners with the approach of the Christmas holiday.
The issue of a prisoner swap was raised at Olmert's meeting with Abbas, but no agreement was reached on the subject.
At the opening of Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting, Olmert updated the ministers on his Saturday meeting with Abbas, saying it was very positive and that he hoped it was the first of many.
"It was a very good meeting," the prime minister said. "It is my intention to have a continuous dialogue in order to promote our political agenda, and this is what we've wanted to do since the beginning of this government."
Olmert also updated the cabinet on the agreements reached during the meeting.
"We plan to release 100 million dollars of tax money for the purpose of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, who have suffered from the failed management of Hamas, an organization which has decided not to be part of the international community," Olmert said.
The prime minister also addressed concerns about the money potentially falling into Hamas' hands.
"It is my intention to act to ease the way of life and the quality of life of the residents in Judea and Samaria," Olmert said. "I have consulted with [Defense Minister Amir Peretz] on this subject, and the appropriate instructions have been given to the IDF."
Before the cabinet meeting, Olmert held a phone conversation with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, during which the prime minister updated his Egyptian counterpart on Saturday's meeting with Abbas.
Olmert told Mubarak that the meeting was "very good" and that "it could create an opening for a better future."
Mubarak told Olmert that he considered the meeting and its immediate results "significantly important," and the two agreed to meet soon.
Hamas officials, however, did not share their enthusiasm over the meeting with Abbas.
On Sunday morning, Hamas sources called the meeting "a waste of time" and said that "no results were achieved in discussions with Israel."
Hamas government spokesman Ghazi Hamad said Sunday that "Olmert is ignoring the big problem of the Palestinian people, which is that all of us are suffering from the activities of [the Israeli] army, both in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria."
He added that "we want an independent Palestinian state with the '67 borders."