Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at Sunday's weekly Cabinet meeting about the IDF's earthquake preparedness drill and the State budget.

"As part of our efforts and actions to improve home front emergency preparedness, we are beginning today a national earthquake exercise, called 'Earthquake 2017,'" Netanyahu said. "So first of all, I hope there will not be an earthquake in 2017."

"There are enough earthquakes around us in all senses of the word, but we live adjacent to the Syrian-African rift, and an earthquake can hit at any moment. They already have and they undoubtedly will.

"The more prepared we are, the better we will be able to deal with such an incident and thus reduce harm to life and property. I ask the public to follow the exercise instructions.

"If I had to summarize the approach in the case of an earthquake, in contrast to other scenarios that threaten the home front, the basic rule is: Get out of the houses, get out of the buildings. The safest place is open space.

"Today the Cabinet will hold its biannual discussion on progress in controlling the state budget in the coming years. We have determined a rule, the 'numerator' rule. I thank the Finance Minister and other ministries, but you Mr. Finance Minister, that we have been partners on this important issue.

"What is the numerator rule? It says that there are no blank checks, and this is a well-known rule, but we have known this rule for two years. We set a budget and we are committed to working within the budget.

"We set a bi-annual budget, but the government is constantly making budgetary decisions for years, for more than two years, and thus we determine budgetary commitments that are very hard for us to meet afterwards.

"The numerator rule says that we also include long-range commitments in the budgetary framework. This is a radical change in how the government works; not many countries have it, and this places Israel among the handful of the world's leading countries in terms of fiscal and budgetary management.

"I think that this discussion expresses the fact that the Israeli economy is not only free, vibrant and productive, it is also administered well, and this is very important. And again, I very much appreciate your cooperation Mr. Finance Minister and that of your ministry, and our joint work in order to broadcast this responsibility to the world. This is effective; we see the results."

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