Israel will significantly reduce its investments beyond the Green Line in the coming years, vowed Acting Prime Minister and head of Kadima Ehud Olmert on Tuesday.
The money that won't be spent there will "total billions," he said, adding that Israel's "major emphasis" in coming years would be on three areas - Jerusalem, the Negev, and Galilee in northern Israel.
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"Israel, in the coming years, will carry out a giant step, a development that would change the face of the country. Our new investments in these regions will be unprecedented," Olmert told participants of the Israel Railways Annual Conference.
Meanwhile, Olmert's rival, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu visited the southern town of Sderot on Tuesday and accused the government of neglecting evacuees from Gush Katif.
"The handling of the evacuees is an outrage. We uprooted people, we promised to take care of them, and we allocated funds. There is no reason in the world that they should keep on suffering," he said.
According to Netanyahu, who was quoted on Israel Radio, "The other side of this tragedy is that Kassam rockets are now being fired from the ruins of these people's homes."
"These rockets now threaten the power station south of Ashkelon, while Kadima is announcing that it plans to continue with more withdrawals," he concluded.