Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Sunday, 10 March 2019), at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, made the following remarks:

"I would like to send condolences to the government and people of Ethiopia, and to the families of the victims who perished in the plane crash. Via the Foreign Ministry we are now checking if any Israelis were on this flight. If there is anything we can do, we are – of course – ready to do it. We have also said this to the Ethiopian government.

We have recently seen provocations and heads being raised from the direction of the Gaza Strip. This has been done by dissidents, but this does not absolve Hamas. Hamas is responsible for everything that comes out of the Gaza Strip, and we respond accordingly, with assaults by Air Force planes against Hamas targets.

I heard people from Gaza saying that since we are in an election campaign a wide-ranging operation is out of the question. I suggest to Hamas – don't count on it. We will do everything necessary to restore security and quiet to the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and to the south in general.

Next weekend Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will come here on an important visit to the State of Israel. At the start of next month Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will come here on a ground-breaking visit to Israel, following my visit to Brazil. Brazil is a major power. We are developing trade links here that lead to employment for many Israelis and will enrich the State of Israel diplomatically and economically.

Tomorrow I will host the important Senator, Lindsey Graham, a great friend of Israel, who up until recently chaired the Senate subcommittee on appropriations [for State. Foreign Operations and Related Programs], a critical position in the American Senate, and now chairs the Judiciary Committee. I will go up with him to the Golan Heights in continuation of our efforts to have the US, together with other countries, recognize Israeli sovereignty, and the Israeli possession, on the Golan Heights.

I would like to clarify a point that, apparently, is not clear to slightly confused people in the Israeli public. Israel is a Jewish, democratic state. This means is that it is the national state of the Jewish people alone. Of course it respects the individual rights of all its citizens – Jews and non-Jews alike, but it is the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people.

Other peoples, other nationalities and other minorities – have national representation in other states. The national representation of the Jewish people is in the State of Israel. Israel is the national state of the Jewish people and of it alone.

Over the weekend we marked International Women's Day. I think everyone was pleased by the fact that there has been very great progress in women's participation and their leadership in various sectors. There is still much work to do, and we are doing it.

I want to mention something I see personally, and that's what I see in the army. Last week I boarded a helicopter, and there was a female flight mechanic there - I was thrilled. I could have taken her picture, but of course I could not publish it. I also occasionally go to thank the helicopter pilots - but it's no longer just male pilots. There are also female fighter pilots and navigators - this is a tremendous development.

Last week I also attended a navy cadet’s course which included three female cadets. A difficult, challenging course, one of the most important ones we have - completed by three female cadet graduates. This shows that Israeli women, in this field and in every other field, are smashing the glass ceiling. This is good for all Israeli citizens - men and women alike. "

PM Netanyahu commented on Minister Gila Gamliel's remarks on encouraging research regarding Jewish communities in Arab countries and Iran:

"I want to congratulate you Gila [Gamliel] on leading this important step. It is important that the nation of Israel know the contribution of the Jewish communities. I am reading a history book on Jerusalem, 'Jerusalem: The Biography' by the historian [Simon Sebag] Montefiore. It is amazing to see over the last thousand years, and especially in the last 500 years, since the expulsion from Spain, the tremendous contribution of Sephardi Jewry and Egyptian Jewry in the attempt to hold on to Jerusalem and to maintain Jewish life here.

They kept the embers alive until the later arrival Ashkenazi Jews. This foothold, not only in prayers for Jerusalem, but also in the realization of the return to Zion and the resettling of Jerusalem, is part of the same heritage that I wish to include in the curriculum, and I ask to include it in research and writing. "