Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s newly expanded governing coalition held its first meeting since Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), Aliyah Minister Sofa Landver (Yisrael Beytenu), and Minister Without Portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) were sworn in.
Netanyahu opened the meeting by welcoming the new ministers to the cabinet.
"I welcome the new ministers – Minister Avigdor Liberman, Minister Sofa Landver and from Jerusalem, Minister Tzachi Hanegbi. Welcome to you all.”
The Prime Minister then announced a massive spending plan to revitalize Jerusalem’s sagging hi-tech industry.
Dubbed the “Jubilee Plan” – marking 50 years in 2017 since the liberation of eastern Jerusalem in 1967 – the program would dedicate more than 850 million shekels ($220 million) to development and infrastructure in Israel’s capital.
The plan was announced just days ahead of the anniversary of the reunification of the city – Jerusalem Day.
“We are holding a festive Cabinet meeting today on the occasion of Jerusalem Day,” said Netanyahu. “We have come here to Jerusalem… the source of our people and our heritage, the place whose living waters have sustained us for thousands of years.”
“We are developing and building Jerusalem. Today we will advance an NIS 850 million supplement to the Jubilee Plan. This is almost NIS 1 billion that we are investing in the development of Jerusalem, in technology and in companies. The face of Jerusalem is changing. There is an interesting technological development here. From Zion shall go forth Torah, and it is going forth from the yeshivot; from Zion shall go forth software – and it is going forth from the new companies that we are cultivating here.”
The Prime Minister also pledged to increase spending on tourist attractions and national parks in and around the city.
“We are investing very much in tourism infrastructures and in the infrastructures of various projects and in parks. Jerusalem really is a beautiful city.”
“They say that this is the first for Jerusalem since the British were here, but a correction must be made: The first Jerusalem development plan was that of King David and King Solomon after him, but this is the first in the new era.”
“Jerusalem is surrounded by parks and here we are in one of these marvelous parks; there are many others. And this plan touches on all of these areas, both the development of Jerusalem as an academic city, to increase the number of students in it – human, national and international capital that is moving the city forward.”