Netanyahu and Deri pull through with NIS 4.5 m. for Mevo Modi'im fire relief

The question of continued assistance was also discussed and will be determined by the National Emergency Authority over the next month.

June 4, 2019 00:42
2 minute read.
Wildfires in Mevo Modi'm, May 23, 2019

Wildfires in Mevo Modi'm, May 23, 2019. (photo credit: ISRAEL FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES CENTER DIVISION)

Amid doubts whether the government would aid the two settlements ravaged by fire last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Arye Deri approved NIS 4.5 million on Monday to be given to Mevo Modi’im and Kibbutz Harel.

“A week ago, we experienced very severe fires, and they burned large parts of Mevo Modi’im and Kibbutz Harel, which caused great damage to dozens of families,” Netanyahu said. “This is heartbreaking, and in a joint effort with the Interior and Housing ministers, we are providing immediate assistance to residents whose homes were burned with NIS 4.5m.”
The question of continued assistance was also discussed and will be determined by the National Emergency Authority over the next month.
“I visited the two communities and saw the tremendous damage done with the local authorities, who acted quickly to immediately evacuate the residents until a lasting solution is found,” Deri said. “The government should help the local authorities to enable residents to return to their routine as quickly as possible, despite the enormous damage caused. I instructed the director-general of the ministry to continue to examine all the expenses and needs of the authorities in order to provide a solution as required.”
Moshav Mevo Modi’im – founded by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and widely known for its yearly Moshav Fair – has raised thousands on its own so far. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has helped the moshav raise $320,000 , with a goal of reaching $500,000. Additionally, individual families have fundraising pages of their own and there is even a joint bank account belonging to the moshav members that many have donated to.

According to one of the moshav’s founders, Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman, most of the residents lack home insurance – and he was worried that the government would fail to act.

“The government has sounded very supportive in the media, but we know from Gush Katif and other examples that it does not always go as well as the promises that are made,” Trugman earlier told The Jerusalem Post. “Without the complete and total support of the government, we won’t be able to rebuild the yishuv. We need a clear decision by the government, and not in months – now.”

In 2005, the government uprooted roughly 9,000 residents from Gush Katif. Seven years later, only 35% of those families had permanent housing, according to a report released by the Gush Katif Committee at the time. Also, according to the report, unemployment rates among evacuees stood at 16%, compared to 4% in 2005. Ten years later, hundreds of families remained poor and in caravans.

Maayan Hoffman contributed to this report

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