Following are Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today:
“Today is Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s birthday. We all pray for him and wish him a quick recovery.
Today, the Cabinet will discuss the conclusions of the committee that examined the issue of shortening compulsory IDF service. The committee, chaired by Prof. Avi Ben-Basat, held discussions over long months, according to Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz’s instructions, examined various issues, and has recommended the gradual shortening of compulsory service.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee. Prof.
Ben-Basat and Defense Minister Mofaz, who appointed the committee and led its preparations and its discussions.
The State of Israel is strong and therefore may now positively consider the possibility of shortening military service. The Cabinet will discuss the foregoing and will appoint a committee to implement the recommendations ahead of final Cabinet approval.”