Soldier camp out last month on the lawn in Kibbutz Nir Am, just outside the Gaza Strip..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The government must pay for Gaza border towns to have security officers at all times, members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcommittees on Home Front Security and Judea and Samaria declared Monday.
The subcommittees began work probing Operation Protective Edge, as part of a general effort by all of the components of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, criticizing the government for reducing the security budget for the towns most effected by shelling from Gaza.
Subcommittee on Judea and Samaria chairman Mordechai Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) said: “Long before Operation Protective Edge, I argued that reducing the defense budget makes things difficult for the IDF and the defense establishment. There was not enough to secure towns in the line of fire.”
Following the operation, Yogev called the joint meeting with Subcommittee on Home Front Security chairman Eli Yishai (Shas) to ensure that the security needs of border towns in the north, south and east of the country are taken care of.
Defense Ministry, IDF, Home Front Command, Public Security and Police representatives took part in the meeting, which was held behind closed doors.
The salaries of local security officers are in danger of being cut, which will leave border towns exposed to threats, according to Yogev.
“Security officers are the first line of defense that is necessary in every border community,” he said. “The government must recognize them as essential and make sure they have suitable working conditions and salaries.”
“Our goal is to strengthen towns on the front lines and make sure this need is met in the 2015 state budget,” Yogev added.
Yogev plans to hold further meetings on the issue in the coming months, as the Knesset prepares next year’s budget.
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