The North of Israel is "flourishing as it never has" and residents there are enjoying "complete quiet," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday at a meeting of the special Cabinet for Strengthening Haifa and the North, which was established after the Second Lebanon War in August 2006. "Over the past two years, we have convened this Cabinet several times in order to monitor developments," Olmert said. "During that same time, we have channeled over NIS 2.75 billion in budgetary supplements to the North in order to respond to the special problems." "Indeed," the prime minister asserted, "whoever visits the North, and I have done so several times in recent months, may see that the North is flourishing as it never has. It seems to me that it is possible to say that we are enjoying the complete quiet there and that nobody is casting a cloud over residents' lives or is threatening their security, as - to my regret - we are still experiencing in other areas of the country." Olmert went on to outline the causes that government funds were diverted towards promoting. "Shelters have been refurbished," he said, "schools have been upgraded, roads have been paved and strengthened and many initiatives are underway." "The prosperity of the north finds expression in unprecedented domestic and international tourism there, including many tourists who have never visited there before," he said.