Tekuma Administration unveils “Gaza Envelope” plan

Details of the five-year strategic plan for rehabilitation of the “Gaza Envelope”, the area bordering the Gaza Strip that was devastated by the attack by Hamas on October 7, have been revealed. The plan, drawn up the by the Tekuma (Revival) Administration, headed by Brig. Gen. (res) Moshe Edri, will be discussed by the government on April 14. It is undergoing adjustments since being presented to heads of local authorities and communities in the border area last week, so that the final draft may be slightly different. In the next few days, a bill will be distributed for comment, aimed at “anchoring the special status of the area,” as per a government decision in December.


Education: NIS 10,000 per child

The five-year plan calls for upgrading the existing schools, adding extra-curricular activities, strengthening the youth movements, and setting up two centers of excellence in Sderot and Eshkol. The education chapter of the plan also includes expansion of the Sdot Negev technological school.

Under the plan, annual investment in each child in the education system in the Gaza Envelope will be NIS 10,000 in addition to the regular Ministry of Education budget.

Total investment: NIS 2.1 billion.

Housing: Return to a better home

According to the Administration’s figures, 388 homes in the Gaza Envelope were destroyed. The damage is assessed at NIS 1.35 billion. The Administration is also allocating up to NIS 1.2 billion to encouraging people to return to their homes and to financing temporary housing solutions.

At the same time, as part of the concept of offering “a return to a better home than before”, as the Administration puts it, the housing chapter includes subsidizing development costs in new construction, the formation of a new planning institution (which the Ministry of Environmental Protection opposes), increased building rights and permits, upgrading and development of the settlements, and promotion of urban renewal and marketing of new homes in Sderot.

Total investment: NIS 6.7 billion.

Employment: Thousands of new jobs

The employment chapter focuses on support for businesses and employees, alongside expansion of the job supply. There will be grants for expansion of workplaces, shared workspaces, training subsidies, capital investment, an innovation encouragement fund, allocation of land for new ventures, and a research and development center (the location of which has yet to be decided). In addition, new industrial zones will be set up and existing ones will be enhanced. According to the Administration, only 20% of industrial zones in the area are currently fully occupied. Altogether, the plan calls for the creation of some 3,600 new jobs in the area.

Total investment: NIS 2.3 billion.

Security: Police stations and Border Police posts

The subject of security naturally receives comprehensive treatment. The security chapter includes new fences, and technological solutions in 30 settlements. Existing IDF posts will be reinforced, and new posts will be set up between the border fence and the settlements. A kilometer-wide buffer zone will be created along the border fence.

Total investment: NIS 852 million.

Youth, culture and sport: 500 beds for students

The plan includes extensive treatment of the subject of attracting young people to the area, through the formation of IDF Nahal units, pre-army education and volunteer programs, a hesder (combined military service and Jewish studies) yeshiva in Sdot Negev, a youth center, and a village for immigrant absorption and student dorms at Ibim. The plan is to add 500 beds for students in the area. At present there are just over 200 beds in dorms around Sapir College, and the overall aim is to raise the number of young people in the area by 5%.

A reinforced conference center will be built in Sderot at an investment of NIS 100 million, and a center of sporting excellence, a “Wingate of the South”, will be built there at an investment of NIS 400 million.

Total investment: NIS 1.28 billion.

Transport and infrastructure

Under this heading, roads will be upgraded and developed, a shuttle service will be offered between settlements, three cycle paths will be paved, and there will be a transition to energy independence and electricity prices will be cut. The plan states that the public transport system in the area is weak, and proposes the formation of six transport hubs that will also have commercial and industrial space.

The plan does not discuss the construction of new railway stations in the area, a proposal that was included in the government decision in December.

Total investment: NIS 615 million.

Health and welfare: Upgraded services

The five-year plan points to shortcomings in the availability, accessibility, and infrastructure of the health services provided to residents. It proposes the setting up of a child health center and a general health center in the Eshkol local authority, additional Magen David Adom ambulances, and a regional rehabilitation-therapy center in the Sha’ar Hanegev local authority.

In welfare, programs for people with disabilities and for victims of sexual assault will be expanded. There will also be a programs for prevention of suicide, and to strengthen families coping with trauma and loss, and more. One of the main aims is to reduce the number of people turning to welfare services because of trauma and loss.

Total investment: NIS 1.06 billion.

Agriculture: 120 more farms

The plan states that 85% of the Gaza Envelope region is agricultural land, and recognizes the importance of strengthening this sector, among other things by attracting young farmers, and the creation of 120 new farms all over the region, covering 15,000 dunams (3,500 acres). The plan also contains provisions for aiding and preserving existing agriculture and investment grants, upgrading of 100 kilometers of farm roads, and more.

Total investment: NIS 1.07 million.

The vision: Not just rehabilitation

The plan states that the vision governing it is “to resettle the communities, to renew and expand the settlements, and to leverage and bring about the prosperity of the communities and the area as a vital, sustainable, flourishing and attractive region for its residents and for the State of Israel. We will not suffice with restoring the situation to what it was.”

An expression of this is the division of the NIS 18 billion budget (in addition to about NIS 1 billion allocated when the war broke out) between NIS 5.4 billion for restoration and NIS 13.6 billion for “healing and growth”.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – – on April 4, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Source link


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button