Home with asbestos damaged by Gaza rocket.
(photo credit: SHARON UDASIN)
Less than a month after Operation Protective Edge, the cabinet on Tuesday approved an unprecedented, five-year, NIS 2 billion socioeconomic package for the South.
The plan calls for building an additional hospital in Beersheba, paving roads, assisting small and medium-sized businesses, and developing tourism projects. Its approval followed by two days a cabinet decision to invest more than NIS 1b. for the development of Sderot and communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that beyond the importance of the projects in developing the Negev, the investment sends a message “to those who seek to uproot us” that they will never be successful.
As part of the multi-year budget, NIS 45 million will be allocated toward waste rehabilitation and replacing asbestos roofs in the region.
Of the total, NIS 30m. will assist southern and Gazan-perimeter communities in rehabilitating their streams and handling their construction waste, as well as strengthening infrastructure for recycling and separating wet and dry waste.
The remaining NIS 15m.
will go toward replacing asbestos roofs in communities located near the Gazan border. Asbestos roofs that were damaged by rocket fire have become a health hazard to residents, according to the ministry.
Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz viewed some of the damage caused to asbestos roofs and instructed his staff to prepare a plan for replacing them.“Residents of the South and the Gazan perimeter were at the front lines and formed the base of support for the IDF and for the state,” Peretz said.
On tour with Peretz, The Jerusalem Post observed chunks of asbestos that had fallen into the living room of a Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha cottage.
A silicate mineral fiber once popular in roofing and insulation, among other purposes, prolonged exposure to asbestos can cause diseases such as lung cancer.