PM Lapid
PM LapidIsrael National News

Outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid said at the final Cabinet meeting of his government Sunday that the IDF had struck Iran whenever and wherever possible.

"This is the last meeting of the 36th government of the State of Israel. It was a government that faced quite a few political storms, but most of all - it was a government that worked hard for the State of Israel and for the citizens of Israel," Lapid said.

He praised former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who was absent from the Cabinet meeting, for his leadership during the government's first year. "Relative to the short time that this government has been in office — a year and a half in total — the list of achievements of this government is extraordinary. Under the leadership of my predecessor, Naftali Bennett, the government got us out of the corona crisis without any lockdowns."

"We rescued the country from an economic crisis. We passed a state budget after more than three years without one. We reduced the deficit and unemployment to numbers that are among the lowest in the country's history. We increased the soldiers' wages by 50%, we passed the "From Uniform to Studies" scholarship program for our soldiers.

Turning to the security issues which have dogged the government in 2022, Lapid said: "In operation "Breaking Dawn", we dealt a heavy blow to Islamic Jihad in Gaza and eliminated its leaders without a single Israeli being harmed. In Operation "Break the Wave" in Judea and Samaria, we dismantled the infrastructure of the “Lion’s Den” terrorist organization and prevented hundreds of terror attacks."

He also said that Israel had worked tirelessly to combat the Iranian threat, both on the nuclear issue and against Iran's terrorism. "By working precisely and smartly together with our democratic government, we prevented the renewal of the nuclear agreement with Iran. We acted against Iranian terrorist infrastructure everywhere, including very far from Israel's borders."

Speaking of the government's diplomatic achievements, Lapid said that W"we opened embassies and missions in the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Bahrain. We established the "Negev Forum", we renewed relations with Turkey, we repaired relations with Egypt and Jordan, we signed a historic agreement with Lebanon on the maritime border."

"During the visit of US President Joe Biden to Israel, we signed together with our great ally, the "Jerusalem Declaration", in which the United States made a strategic commitment to the safety, security and prosperity of Israel.

"We established the "Safe Path" program which reached many achievements in the fight against crime in Arab society. We established two state commissions of inquiry, one to investigate the Mount Meron disaster, the other to investigate the submarine and vessel affair.

"We passed the standards reform that lowered the prices of dozens of products, we raised the retirement age for women, we raised teachers' salaries and improved their working conditions, we dramatically increased the allowances for Holocaust survivors.

"I’ll stop here, although the list goes on. In its short tenure, this government passed 1,613 decisions, in all areas of life, all for the benefit of the citizens of Israel. We didn’t just act for the sake of those who voted for us; we didn't just work for our block or camp.

"The Israeli government has a clear role: to protect the state, protect the law, protect the separation of powers, protect security and the economy, protect Israel's position in the world, protect Israel‘s democracy. We met all these tasks with considerable success.

"Ministers, I was honored to serve this country and its citizens together with you. We'll be back in this room, sooner than you think," Lapid said.