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The Israel Lands Authority began on Monday to prepare land adjacent to the communities of the Hevel Shalom area near the Egyptian border and the Gaza Strip for residential and farming purposes.
The ILA's decision came as part of the preparation for six communities - Yated, Yevul, Dekel, Prigan, Talmei Yosef and Sde Avraham - to absorb 40 families each.
The Agriculture Ministry approved the expansion of the six communities by 3,200 dunams, and will raise their water allowances in accordance with the number of families the communities absorb.
The expansion was intended, among other things, to accommodate families evacuated from the Gaza Strip in last year's disengagement.