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Following are Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the first meeting of the 34th Government on erev Shabbos, 26 Iyar.
Despite all the ups-and-downs we had to go through to reach this moment, I am still moved by the position and I am certain that you are too. From this moment on we must leave disagreements outside this room and focus on good work for the citizens of Israel – all citizens of Israel.
We will work with determination, responsibility and vigor in the face of all attempts to test our borders and our security from both near and far. Israel’s enemies must know that any threated directed at us has red lines. This has been our policy under previous governments and will be under the current government as well.
We will continue to promote a diplomatic settlement while upholding the vital interests and security of the citizens of Israel. At the same time and perhaps in assistance, we will try to realize the opportunity of regional developments and new possibilities of action with the moderate and responsible countries around us.
We will work to improve social welfare with emphasis on lowering the cost of living in general and housing costs in particular. We will work to continue to reduce the gaps in Israeli society. We will continue to link the Negev and the Galilee with the center and to strengthen employment there and throughout the country. We are attentive to the cry of immigrants from Ethiopia and their families and next week we will form a special ministerial committee, under my chairmanship, to deal with this problem. We are obligated to work for the good of all Israeli citizens and we will do everything we can to justify the confidence the nation has vested in us.
Now the time has come to roll up our sleeves and get to work. May our efforts be successful.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)