KKL-JNF Board of Directors Meeting in Sderot.
(photo credit: YEHUDA PERETZ/KKL-JNF PHOTO ARCHIVE)
As what has become known as “kite terror” continues in the Gaza border area, and as tensions mount, the KKL-JNF Board of Directors held a special meeting on October 8, 2018 in Sderot, along with touring the region.
During the meeting and the visit, the KKL-JNF Board of Directors made the decision to define the Gaza border region as KKL-JNF’s central focus for aid, and accordingly, to approve a comprehensive and multiyear aid program impacting a number of fields. At the meeting, funding for a total sum of approximately 66 million shekels was approved for the next two years, in order to further projects that represent KKL-JNF’s core agenda.
In addition, the KKL-JNF Board of Directors was informed that in coming weeks, the KKL-JNF finances committee would convene to discuss a proposal to allocate a one-time sum of 38 million shekels, in addition to the abovementioned amount.
This decision of the KKL-JNF Board of Directors was taken after a work plan was prepared by a strategic work team established by the communities located in the Gaza border region, which represents all the regional authorities. The goal of the plan is to help bolster the communal resilience of the local residents, and the committee asked KKL-JNF to help implement the plan.
Among the projects that will be furthered by KKL-JNF in accordance with the decision of the Board of Directors: preparing neighborhood infrastructure, creating bicycle paths and connecting between communities, building playgrounds, development of already existing forests including development of recreation areas, scenic routes and forest rehabilitation, educational, leisure and reprieve activities, establishing a local KKL-JNF house for encouraging excellence in Sderot, and more.
Although the Gaza border region is defined as everything within seven kilometers from the border, KKL-JNF decided that the geographic region should include all the communities that have suffered from terror attacks during the past few months. For that reason, assistance will also be provided to Sderot, Netivot, the Eshkol Regional Council, the Sedot Negev Regional Council, the Merhavim Regional Council, the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, and the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council.
In wake of the Board of Directors’ approval of the decision, KKL-JNF World Chairman Daniel Atar said that “even when there is less of a security threat, one of KKL-JNF’s major goals is to strengthen Israel’s peripheral regions, with emphasis placed on the Negev and Galilee. At the present time, during which residents living on the Gaza Strip border face kite terror and other threats daily, KKL-JNF is even more committed to do whatever it can in order to support local residents.”
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