Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS
A new community in "Halutza Sands" along the border near the Sinai and Gaza.

Israel will build a new community in the Sdot Negev Regional Council area, adjacent to the Gaza Strip, the government announced Sunday.

The Cabinet approved Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal to evaluate the establishment of a new community for 500 families in the Sdot Negev Regional Council area, east of Kibbutz Sa’ad.

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The provisional name of the community will be Hanun. The new residents will vote on its permanent name in the future.

The establishment of the new community is the outcome of Netanyahu’s policy of advancing the development of the periphery and the drawing of the population from the center of the country to the Negev, and in accordance with the government policy of strengthening the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu met on Sunday with Sdot Negev Regional Council Chairman Tamir Idan and congratulated him on the decision.

“This is a great day for the State of Israel. We are building a new community in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu declared.

He recalled six years ago when he decided to establish the new community.

“This captured my imagination and my heart and we have decided to do it, and here we are implementing it,” he said.

Netanyahu said that the new community was “both a domestic and an external message. We face enemies who want to uproot us and they are revealing that not only are we not being uprooted – we are planting, building and producing. This is a very big thing – this is the essence of Zionism.”

Sdot Negev Regional Council Chairman Idan said he was “very moved. This is a festive day for the State of Israel in general and the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip in particular.”

Idan said that the population has grown by 30% in the past few years and that he has a long waiting list of Israelis who want to move to the area.

He further noted the IDF intelligence reports that discuss how Gaza-based terror organizations that threaten the area view Israelis.

“When they see us hesitating and wailing, they say ‘aha, these people are weak.’ And when they see us looking straight ahead, expanding, talking about building new communities and constructing tall buildings in [the nearby city of] Sderot, their spirit drops and ours does not,” he said.

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TPS - The Tazpit News Agency provides news from Israel.