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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

PM Lapid's Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Israel - Prime Minister's Office


Following are Prime Minister Yair Lapid's remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, today:

"I would like to start by sending the condolences of the Government of Israel and the people of Israel to our friend and ally Japan, on the death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated on Friday. He was a great leader and a great friend of Israel. We stand by Japan during this difficult time.

We are at the start of a historic week. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden will land here, one of the closest friends that Israel has ever had in American politics, who once said about himself: "You don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist. I am a Zionist."

This visit will deal with both challenges and opportunities. The discussion of the challenges will focus first and foremost on the issue of Iran. Yesterday, it was revealed that Iran is enriching uranium in advanced centrifuges in complete contravention of the agreements it has signed.

The international response needs to be decisive: to return to the UN Security Council and activate the sanctions mechanism at full force. Israel, for its part, reserves for itself full freedom of action, diplomatic and operational, in the fight against the Iranian nuclear program.

This is an opportunity to again thank the United States for not lifting the sanctions on the Iranian IRGC. Iran is behind Hezbollah and supports Hamas, and Iranian terror cells recently tried to murder Israeli tourists in Istanbul.

Israel will not stand idly by while Iran tries to attack us. Our security services know how to reach anyone, anywhere - and they will do just that. We will discuss with the President and his team expanding security cooperation against all threats.

From Jerusalem, the President's plane will fly to Saudi Arabia. He will carry with him a message of peace and hope from us. Israel extends its hand to all the countries of the region and calls on them to build ties with us, establish relations with us, and change history for our children.

On another matter, the government - led by Public Security Minister Omer Barlev and Social Equality Minister Meirav Cohen - will submit a decision on the continuation of the program to deal with violence in mixed cities. This government is determined to bring law and order to the streets of Israel.

This plan is only the beginning. This is one of main missions that we have set for ourselves: a strong police, and cooperation with the ISA and local authorities in order to ensure that every Israeli citizen knows there is someone safeguarding their personal security.

Regarding personal security, a strong hand is necessary. Personal security is at the top of our agenda. We have added hundreds of positions to the police. We are constantly fighting the phenomenon of violence in the Arab sector and are already seeing results.

We will continue to do whatever is necessary. If legislation must be changed, if punishments must be stiffened - we will do so as well. As soon as we are able to pass a budget, we will make certain that there will be significant increases for strengthening the police and raising police salaries.

All citizens of Israel need to know that the streets are safe when they leave their homes. We will make sure that this happens.

Thank you."

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