Photo Credit: Flash 90
Results of missile attack on Ashdod, July 2014. Many of the children in southern Israel still show signs of stress and a significant percentage suffer from trauma due to the rocket attacks they have endured.

Israel’s Cabinet today approved a proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to invest NIS 2 billion in a long-term socioeconomic development plan in southern Israel.

The proposal is intended to upgrade civilian infrastructure in the fields of energy, industry, employment, health, agriculture, transportation, housing, social welfare, education, environmental protection, the economy and tourism, according to a statement released by the prime minister’s office.

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The proposal comes in addition to one already approved Sunday by the Cabinet that included a detailed development plan for Sderot and communities along the Gaza border.

At the start of Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that this plan “includes building an additional hospital in Be’er Sheva, paving roads, assisting small and intermediate businesses, and developing tourism enterprises in the south and around the country in the wake of Operation Protective Edge.”

The prime minister underlined the fact that the proposal came in addition to “the decision we made on Sunday to add over NIS 1 billion for Sderot” and communities in the Gaza Belt area.

“I told the mayors and local council heads that I met with yesterday at the Eshkol Regional Council that the State of Israel was not making these unprecedented investments just for show,” Netanyahu continued.

“We are doing so with a two-fold goal – investing in and deepening our hold on all parts of the country but also as a message to those who seek to uproot us, that they will never succeed in doing so. We are all responsible for this.

“I would like to wish all citizens of Israel a good and happy New Year. I would also like to wish ministers a good and happy year. We are working together in order to ensure the future of the State of Israel and the people of Israel. May we all have a good, prosperous, safe and quiet year.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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