Netanyahu vows to rebuild southern communities, even as rockets fall

‘We are determined to rehabilitate the settlements and kibbutzim, i’ said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu


Israeli Prime Minister and head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a Likud party meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem on January 8, 2024. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

During a meeting with local community heads at the Israel Defense Forces Southern Command base in Beersheva, Netanyahu said, "We are determined to rehabilitate the settlements and kibbutzim in what is called 'the Gaza Envelope,' to return the residents to their homes and to bring about prosperity and prosperity far beyond what existed even before the war."

To achieve this, he continued, "We need to achieve a victory over Hamas first, but also to take the necessary civilian actions, and for this reason we convened the War Cabinet together with the ministerial team today."

Netanyahu made his remarks as Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday launched over 50 rockets into southern Israel.

Attending the meeting were Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and Knesset member Aryeh Deri, among other ministers.

Local southern leaders in attendance included Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi, Sdot Negev Regional Council Tamir Idan, Ashkelon Coast Regional Council head Itamar Revivo, Eshkol Regional Council head Gadi Yarkoni, Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council head Yossi Keren and Shay Hajaj, head of the Merhavim Regional Council.

On Nov. 20, Israeli lawmakers voted in favor of a 1.15 billion shekel ($308 million) proposal to fund the recently created Tekuma Authority, which will be responsible for rebuilding, developing and strengthening the Gaza border communities devastated in Hamas’s Oct. 7 cross-border massacre.

The Tekuma funds, redirected from the 2023 state budget, are to be used for “emergency assistance to communities near the Gaza Strip, assistance to the cities of Ofakim and Ashkelon, and local authorities absorbing evacuated populations,” according to the Knesset Finance Committee.

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