Thursday's murderous terror attack, which claimed the lives of eight yeshiva students in Jerusalem, stood at the heart of Sunday's cabinet meeting.
"This was a carefully-orchestrated terror attack," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said at the opening of the meeting. "It was designed to target a special place in Jerusalem and the flagship of the religious Zionist movement."
Mercaz Harav yeshiva, stated Olmert, has produced "the finest soldiers for many generations; people who have realized the Zionist faith. This yeshiva – which was founded by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook – has educated and nurtured tradition and legacy, as part of Israel's resilience."
Referring to the yeshiva's political worldview, the prime minister stressed, "No difference of opinion can erase the deep appreciation I and the Israeli public have for Mercaz Harav yeshiva, its rabbis, teachers, students and graduates.
"The pain over this wicked murder is shared by the people of Israel as a whole, and goes beyond any disagreement," he added. "May the memory of the eight murdered at Mercaz Harav yeshiva, those Israel-loving students, be blessed."