The cabinet on Sunday approved a series of economic measures to help communities hardest hit by the security situation, including residents of the south and reserve soldiers.
“It is clear to us that beyond the restoration of quiet to the south and to all parts of the country, we must make a special effort to deal with the communities of the south as part of the response to our national challenges, and we must do so in as short a time frame as possible,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said.
The proposal for Sderot and the communities around Gaza would provide NIS 23 million toward rebuilding or repairing infrastructure projects such as public spaces, sports facilities, parks, public and cultural institutions and structurally reinforced day-care centers.
The government had already pledged NIS 417m. for such projects in July.
“We are already working to rehabilitate the towns around Gaza and Sderot, and these programs will give a push toward continuing the rehabilitation and returning life to normal,” said National Infrastructure Minister Silvan Shalom.
The cabinet also approved the establishment of a special NIS 30 million fund for reservists called up as a result of Operation Protective Edge.
The fund, according to a cabinet statement, will assist reservists who faced economic losses as a result of their service – focusing on, but not limited to, business owners, people with families and students.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid said it was the nation’s duty to help reservists to give back to them for their “wonderful mobilization.”
The cabinet appointed five professional teams to evaluate the range of responses in the economic, industrial, agricultural, construction and community-social fields, and submit further plans.
The government also approved the establishment of a new “students’ village” in Sderot at a cost of NIS 50m.
that will houses some 300 students studying at Sapir College and other institutions of higher education in the region. The housing will be built with new technology and is expected to be finished “in a number of months.”
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.