Business in Brief

People doing their National Service will be offered a new opportunity: to help fight traffic accidents. Yesterday, the cabinet approved the initiative at the request of Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, and gave Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz, who is responsible for National Service, the job of drawing up the details of the new program for volunteers. (Daniel Schmil )

The Health Ministry is joining the battle against testing cosmetics and toiletries on animals: It announced it would support a Knesset bill banning the sale of such products that were tested on animals. Sponsored by MKs Eitan Cabel (Labor ) and Dov Khenin (Hadash ), the legislation would end imports of such toiletries in 2015; such testing is already banned vis-a-vis Israeli-made products. The ministry will now be responsible for setting alternative standards for testing, which will still protect consumers, as is the case in the EU. The Israel Chambers of Commerce said there are very few such products imported to Israel today, and its members have already adopted the European standards. (Ronny Linder-Ganz )

After three years of work, the "fast lane" project on Highway 1 from Ben-Gurion International Airport to Tel Aviv will finally open on January 7, 2011. The new left lane on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road will become a toll lane. The project also includes a free "park and ride" lot at the Shapirim interchange, with free shuttle buses from there to the Kirya area in Tel Aviv and the Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan. Public transport and cars with at least four riders will be able to use the new lane for free; for others it will cost NIS 7 per trip, which will be increased based on congestion. Vehicles in the new lane are supposed to travel at a minimum of 70 kilometers per hour. The project cost NIS 580 million and had numerous delays. (Avi Bar-Eli )

The family of prime minister Menachem Begin objects to the decision by Stanley Fischer, the governor of the Bank of Israel, to honor Begin by issuing a bill with his image. Fischer notified Begin's son, MK Benny Begin (Likud ), on Saturday night of his decision, and Begin requested that Fischer not do so. Nonetheless, the central bank decided that Begin's legacy and historical image belong to the public and not only his family. Fischer and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed over the weekend on the figures to appear on Israel's new currency: Former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Begin, Nobel prize winning author Shmuel Yosef Agnon, and poet Rachel Bluwstein. The cabinet still has to approve the decision. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, who wants to see more women and cultural figures on the bills, objects to Fischer's choices. (Eti Aflalo, Zvi Zrahiya and Ram Ozeri )

Shaul Elovitch is continuing to milk Bezeq, which he bought less than a year ago foe NIS 6.5 billion. The company will reduce its equity and pay out an exceptional dividend of NIS 3 billion, of which Elovitch will will receive about NIS 1 billion. This is in addition to another NIS 1.1 billion Elovitch has already received in earlier payments from Bezeq. At the same time, the company has reached an agreement with employees, whereby at least 660 temporary workers will attain permanent status over the next two years, and all employees will receive options. (Amitai Ziv )