Netanyahu at Negev Conference.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday touted the success of his government, which was sworn in exactly one year ago, telling residents of the Negev that one of his key achievements had been bringing quiet to the South.
Speaking at the sixth annual Negev Conference in Sderot, on the Gaza border, Netanyahu said "one of our central goals was to develop the Negev and the Galilee and to bring them closer to the center. We invested more than NIS 10 million in infrastructure and transportation, we built a train station in Sderot, Beersheba is becoming an international cyber hub, we stopped infiltration and after Operation Pillar of Defense there is a quiet here that has not been felt in a decade."
Speaking a week after two days of hostilities
which saw some 70 rockets fired at the area from Gaza, Netanyahu vowed "there will not be a drizzle of rocket fire."
He warned Gaza terrorists that Israel's clear policy is "every rocket will be responded to immediately and with force."
Netanyahu said that his government had succeeded in ensuring Israel's security "in the face of regional upheaval." He said that the country's economy had continued to grow as well, despite the global economic crisis.
"There is a plethora of impressive achievements here in a short amount of time," Netanyahu said, adding that he expects to see more good results from the government's decisions.
Earlier at the conference, President Shimon Peres called for Israel and the Palestinians to reach a comprehensive peace deal, despite the remaining hurdles and mutual dissatisfaction both sides face.
"The Palestinians are not satisfied with us and we are not with them, but both sides are not satisfied with terror and warfare," the president said.
While stressing the urgent need to reach peace, Peres also hailed the United States alongside the Israeli government for their efforts so-far in the ongoing negotiating process.
"We are lucky to have our friendship with the United States -- it's not an embarrassment to say thank you to the US for its military and diplomatic support," he said.