web analytics
December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Southern Israel’

Road Terror Attack on Southern Israeli Bus

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Arabs attacked a southern Israeli bus traveling Thursday night from Arad to Be’er Sheva along Highway 31.

The unidentified attackers hurled rocks at the bus, breaking the windshield and injuring a 60-year-old man.

Israel Police launched a search to hunt for the terrorists. Numerous “unrecognized” Bedouin encampments and small villages are located among the hills that run alongside Highway 31 between Arad and Be’er Sheva, as well as three “recognized” Bedouin towns.

No arrests have yet been made.

Jewish Diaspora Donors Infuse NIS 50M Into Southern Israel

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Jewish donors have injected an infusion of some NIS 50 million ($13.22 million) into rocket-battered communities in southern Israel.

The package was organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel, whose Board of Governors is meeting this week in the coastal city of Ashkelon and surrounds.

Ashkelon was one of the primary targets of rocket and missile attacks launched by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization before and during the IDF’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge this summer.

The funds are being used to help the south recover from the damage inflicted by Gaza terrorists during the 50-day war, which ended on the eve of Tisha B’Av.

Comprised of donations from the Jewish Federations of North America, Keren HaYesod-UIA and others, some of the money is aimed at programs to expand the population of communities closest to the border with Gaza.

Approximately 1,300 scholarships of more than NIS 5,700 each ($1,500) will be offered to students living within four kilometers of Gaza (2.5 miles) for help with rent, in a move designed to draw young adults to the area.

In addition, there will be funding for special loans to local businesses located within the “40-kilometer (25 miles) zone” whose operations was affected by the war. There will also be grants for victims of rocket attacks, financing to pay for refurbishing private bomb shelters via the Amigur housing subsidiary, coordinated between the Jewish Agency, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Defense. In addition, the Jewish Agency will provide support for new immigrants in local absorption centers in southern Israel and IDF lone soldiers wounded during the war.

The Jewish Agency Fund for Victims of Terror also provides a grant of NIS 4,000 ($1,060) to famkilies immediately after an attack if they have experienced an injury or loss or their homes were damaged by rocket fire during a war. Subsequently, if the government of Israel recognizes a family as a “victim of terror” the Fund provides additional aid of up to NIS 25,000 ($6,600) to the family as well.

Yet, world Jewry has responded magnificently with compassion and grace to help provide the massive amount of money required to address the needs of Israel’s war-torn southern population, so badly traumatized following the summer’s events.

Opening this week’s gathering, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Scharansky thanked the agency’s partners in the Jewish world.

“This is a continuation of the Jewish world’s massive outpouring of solidarity with the people of Israel and the residents of the South over the course of the summer,” Scharansky noted. “During the war, we stood with the residents and channeled the solidarity and support of world Jewry. Today, we are partnering with the government of Israel to ensure that [their] pioneering spirit endures well into the future, drawing ever more people to this area and keeping it strong and vibrant for many years to come.

“This is the Zionist response to this summer’s events, and it is an expression of our commitment to the residents of southern Israel.”

The agency’s Board of Governors also toured Kibbutz Nahal Oz, one of the Gaza Belt communities that was held under siege with rocket and mortar fire by Hamas and allied terrorists prior to and during the war.

IDF Southern Command GOC Maj. Gen. Shlomo Turgeman told the governors, “We are fighting for our homes here. Your decision to hold the Jewish Agency Board of Governors’ meetings in southern Israel after Operation Protective Edge is a massive source of strength for me personally, and for the soldiers under my command.”

Unprecedented NIS 2b Development Plan for Southern Israel Gets Green Light

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

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.

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.”

Govt Approves Massive Upgrade of Southern Israeli Infrastructure

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

The Cabinet on Sunday approved a proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to upgrade the southern Israeli city of Sderot and its surrounds, and to build a new hospital in Be’er Sheva.

The NIS 1.3 billion five-year plan was created by a team of ministry director-generals led by PMO director Harel Locker. It is the largest and most comprehensive economic development plan ever made for the area, according to a release from the prime minister’s office.

The plan supplements the government’s July 13 decision to allocate NIS 417 million in economic benefits to the area adjacent to Gaza in 2015-2016. Approximately half of that sum is dedicated to Sderot.

“This is the largest investment that the State of Israel has ever made in this area,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting. “This is in addition to the NIS 417 million that we transferred during Operation Protective Edge. We are developing a new industrial zone in Sderot, transportation infrastructure in the area and are encouraging young people and students to move to the area adjacent to Gaza.

“We came to this country to build and to be built. We came to this part of our land in order to build and be built in it, and no one will uproot us. We will strengthen our hold and our development of this area just as in other areas,” the prime minister said.

“On Tuesday we will submit for Cabinet approval a supplement regarding an approximately NIS 2 billion in additional funds for the communities and cities of the south,” Netanyahu continued.

“In the framework of this decision, we will build a new hospital in Be’er Sheva, in addition to the hundreds of additional beds for the existing Soroka Medical Center.

“We will connect new natural gas infrastructures for the benefit of factories in the south. We will invest in initiatives to connect the Negev in the framework of the Digital Israel program.

“We will encourage small and mid-size businesses. We will develop tourism and all aspects of life, including the important ‘cyber’ aspect for all residents of the Negev, including Bedouin.

“This is a deep commitment on our part. I think that it has found expression.”

False Alarm in Southern Israel, Real Rocket Fire in North

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Residents of Gaza Belt communities in southern Israel once again raced in a mad dash for their bomb shelters when a Code Red rocket alert siren activated Monday at midday.

The siren sounded in Netiv Ha’Asara, Yad Mordechai and along the Mediterranean coast in the city of Ashkelon.

It was initially believed to be a false alarm, then later reported as a rocket fired at Israel that had fallen short, landing within Gaza territory.

Ultimately, it now appears that it really was a false alarm — but at the end of the day, it’s not clear because numerous jets were heard to scramble overhead, flying south.

Also in Karnei Shomron, Home Front Command apparently scheduled a test Monday morning for the Code Red incoming rocket alert system, but didn’t bother to inform residents about the drill. Talk about really bad timing.

In the north, the IDF has cleared for publication that early Monday morning a “stray rocket” landed in Israeli territory after being fired from the Quneitra border crossing in Syria.

The rocket exploded in an open area. No one was physically injured in the incident. According to the report, fighting on the Syrian side of the border has been “particularly intense” throughout the day.

Israeli Children, Parents On Gaza Border Start New School Year with Mixed Feelings

Monday, September 1st, 2014

On Monday, September 1, schools across Israel opened the school year, as 2,105,394 children took their places in the classrooms a week after a 50-day war with Hamas ended in a ceasefire agreement on August 26. In southern Israel, where cities and communities were most affected by Hamas rocket fire and terror attacks, special activities took place to help children ease back into school following a summer spent mostly in bomb shelters.

“There are mixed feelings – there is great happiness going back to a routine,” Sharon, a mother from Kibbutz Or HaNer, near Sderot, told Tazpit News
Agency. “On the other hand, we do not know what will happen next with the ceasefire,” said Sharon, whose children go to school in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council.

“The children were really happy to go back to school, to walk around freely for the first time in months. Just today, the kids and I had ice cream for the first time all summer sitting out on the grass,” Sharon told Tazpit.

“There is a feeling that the war stopped, but also that it hasn’t. Parents here are full of emotions regarding the return to school after such a difficult summer. Many of us became refugees from the rockets. Just think, teachers who went through this horror themselves are opening the school year,” she added.

Over 4,562 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip during the summer, striking civilian population centers throughout the country.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Education Minister, Shai Piron and Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, showed solidarity with southern Israelis today, visiting schools in southern Israel. In Sderot, Prime Minister Netanyahu visited a new religious elementary school with Sderot mayor, Alon Davidi. The prime minister spoke with first grade students who spent the first lesson learning about the Hebrew alphabet.

“I know that you spent your vacation doing things not according to what you planned,” the prime minister said.” I hope that during the upcoming holidays you will have the chance to have some fun, to play and to be with your families and friends,” the Israeli PM told the first graders.

“Be good friends with each other and hunger for knowledge. This is what distinguishes us and gives our people special strength,” he said. “We are the People of the Book and today the people of the tablet as well. We hold on to our heritage and also the future. Study the Bible, our heritage, math, computers and science. Acquire knowledge for the sake of the nation of Israel, for the state of Israel, for the land of Israel, for yourselves and your families.” ”

Among the 2 million students starting school, 149,705 are first graders and 122,750 students are entering the 12th grade. The Absorption Ministry also pointed out that 1,900 students are new immigrants and are entering the Israeli school system for the first time, which includes 250 first graders.

Education Minister, Shai Piron further added that that he was assigning a special assignment to the first graders this school year, which he noted wasn’t homework but classwork. “Look around you. See who may not have many friends and who may have had few visitors this summer. If a kid doesn’t come to school because he is sick, don’t forget to call him. Act with respect to your teachers. And when you speak to each other on the playground, do not forget to use clean language.”

“Our biggest test is not how we act during times of war but how we act during times of peace. The true test is about morality, identity and love of mankind,” said Piron during his visit to the south.

Mixed Reactions Among Leaders in Southern Israel to Ceasefire

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Details of the current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are being revealed, and the agreement obtained by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are generating mixed reactions among the leaders of the South. The majority of the reactions are against the truce, and all voiced skepticism about its viability. Itamar Shimoni, Mayor of Ashkelon, harshly condemned the ceasefire, calling it a surrender to terror: “The residents of the South wanted a decisive victory, but it seems they will not receive it,” said Shimoni, “We wanted to see Hamas begging for its life, while in fact we are witnessing Israel running to the negotiations table every chance it has to do so.” Shimoni further believes that objectives set for Operation ‘Protective Edge’ were not achieved: “We did not lose 64 soldiers and six citizens for this ‘achievement’. We sat in bomb shelters for two months and incurred heavy financial losses, but not for this ‘achievement’. we expected much more. Hamas made demands while using force, and it seems they will get what they demanded. the conclusion is the terror pays.” Shimoi believes that the current ceasefire with Hamas will not last long: “We have already begun to prepare of the next round of violence, and it will be more deadly and violent than what we have experienced up until now.”

Tamir Idan, Head of the Sdot Negev Regional Council, also believes that the current ceasefire is a surrender to terror. relating to the IDF’s refrain from responding to Hamas’ heavy fire on Israel hours before the ceasefire took effect, Idan stated: “The ceasefire is Israel’s agreement by silence that it is possible to fire relentlessly at Israel with no response just before the commencing of the ceasefire, and this is very grave. We demand that the State of Israel and the IDF stand by their vow to respond to every incident in a harsh and meaningful fashion.” Yair Farjun, Head of the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, believes the ceasefire has little credibility. “We cannot become indifferent and must remain vigilant, at least in the coming days. the government must stand fast and ensure that the terror organization does not achieve any meaningful objectives, while planning to bring down the Hamas regime if the fire is renewed.”

Alon Shuster, Head of the Sha’ar Ha’Negev Regional Council, is the only leader to voice support for the ceasefire. “The great pain caused by the bloody incidents in the past days emphasizes the need to stop the violence in our region. I support the ceasefire and the negotiations that are supposed to commence in its wake,” said Shuster. Despite his support for the ceasefire, Shuster too is skeptical about its practicability. “If the terror organizations renew their fire that will be the sign for Israel’s government to enter into a deep military campaign in the Gaza Strip that will uproot the Hamas regime. if the terror ceases its crimes and cooperates with a disarmament process, the rehabilitation of Gaza will be possible,” concluded Shuster.

Despite the ceasefire, the residents of the south are reportedly reluctant to return to their homes after fleeing them weeks ago. They have little faith that the truce will hold for long, basing their decision not to return on past experience. As the opening of the school year nears they will have make a final decision if to risk relying on the current truce.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mixed-reactions-among-leaders-in-southern-israel-to-ceasefire/2014/08/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: