Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Sunday, 22 November 2020), convened council heads from the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip for a video conference, together with Finance Minister Yisrael Katz and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri in order to update them on details of the over NIS 1 billion plan to strengthen civilian resilience in Sderot and the communities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
"After we announced – on 8 November 2020 – the establishment of a new community in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, today we have more good news – a wide-ranging over NIS 1 billion assistance plan for the communities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. The plan includes, inter alia, tax benefits and property tax discounts, creates growth engines such as development of the agritech sector, boosts social services, strengthens personal security, and invests in education and infrastructure development.
We will continue to support and advance the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. This week we will bring a decision to assist Ashkelon as well. According to what we are seeing, in both the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and in Ashkelon, there is growing demand for apartments. People want to come, including to the new community. I think that this says everything.
Our vigorous security policy for every attack aimed at us, as found expression just yesterday, is alongside the strengthening of the civilian resilience and momentum in the area, which are the true answer to the terrorist organizations. They come to uproot and we come to plant.
I would like to thank all of the government ministries, the Interior and Finance ministers and their ministries, and the people between the ministries, for their great contributions, and to all the government ministries – 29 in all – for contributing to this effort. Thank you, ministers and all of the ministries' workers."
Finance Minister Katz:
"I welcome the Cabinet decision to strengthen the resilience and the economy of the residents of the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. This is great and significant news for all residents of the area. I thank the various elements that took part in formulating the decision, which will promote economic development for the residents of the area, strengthen the stability of the local authorities and create new jobs in the area. Thanks to around NIS 1 billion in economic assistance, we will also be able to improve services to residents by increasing the local authorities' budgets, expanding activities at the resilience centers and health centers in the communities, and by expanding social services and education in the area."
Interior Minister Deri:
"Today we are marking Ben-Gurion Day and this is an excellent day for additional significant strengthening of the communities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip with major budgets that will be directed to improving services for the residents and safeguarding their security. Residents of the area are the true pioneers of our time and we worked hard to approve the decision to assist them. Of course, this is with the assistance of the local and professional leadership that is responsibly active on daily basis in the face of exceptional challenges. We are charged with the responsibility of continuing to provide all of the tools necessary for the authorities in the area to strengthen themselves and succeed."
Prime Minister Netanyahu, Finance Minister Katz and Interior Minister Deri formulated the over NIS 1 billion plan and were assisted by many government ministries.
The goal of the plan is to strengthen community support networks, strengthen and develop the local economy and strengthen local authorities.
The main assistance tools that will be given in the framework of the plan include budgeting for the activity of resilience centers, tax benefits and property tax discounts, special security grants, agritech development, boosting social services, strengthening personal security, tourist development, boosting formal and informal education, promoting industrial zones, security components, community strengthening and the development of infrastructures.