Photo Credit: GPO
The Israeli government cabinet meeting approving the 2023-2024 budget. Feb. 24, 2023

The multi-year “Northern Dawn” plan for northern Israel discussed last week was approved Monday by the government, with integration of immediate and short-range actions as well as the long-term outline for rebuilding and developing the region.

The north has been taking a beating from Hezbollah rocket, missile and combat drone fire since the start of the current war on October 7, 2023.


“We have come a long way,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

“There is an immediate NIS 3.5 billion plan here that will greatly assist the residents of the north. There is a 0-9 definition in the plan here as well as a long-term reconstruction and development budget that will be much more than the NIS 3 billion that has already been agreed to in the decision.

This is good news for the residents of the north,” Netanyahu said. “We will provide a socio-economic solution for the north and a broad security solution.”

Netanyahu thanked the ministers and the ministries, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Director General Yossi Shelley and his team, and the local council heads for becoming involved in the project and its development.

The plan was formulated by the PMO Home Affairs, Planning and Development branch in cooperation with all Government ministries and northern local council heads.

The budget, which is set at NIS 6.5 million, includes NIS 3.5 billion for the immediate term and NIS 3 billion for the multi-year outline.

According to the decision, a special staff will be established in the PMO to advance the implementation of the decision and formulate the outline for rebuilding and developing the north, and will serve as an address for the concerns of the local authorities and communities.

It was also decided that the prime minister will chair a ministerial committee to advance overall government policy vis-à-vis the rebuilding and development of the north.

In addition, it was also decided that due to the consequences of the war, more NIS 200 million will be provided to local authorities in assistance for their current needs.

The goals of the plan in the short-term are:

1. Increasing certainty and clarity for the region, the communities and the population under threat, while creating a clear focus for liaison with the public.

2. Assistance in safeguarding and unifying the communities under threat and their populations which have been displaced; and drawing the population northward, while maintaining resilience and wellbeing on individual, family and community levels; increasing educational continuity; reducing learning gaps and assistance in improving pupils’ educational achievements.

3. Assistance in maintaining continuity of function for businesses and strengthening employment security, including maintaining the tourism and agriculture sectors, ensuring business activity and strengthening local businesses in the area under threat.

4. Strengthening and increasing continuity of function among the authorities involved in the decision including increasing operations and continuity of municipal services, and preserving and improving organizational and authority resilience.

5. Gathering and pooling data for decision making and implementation.

Under the long-term plan, among the overall aspects of life in the north, the following issues are also to be addressed, the PMO said.

* Applying the long-term budget to communities up to nine kilometers from the border (subject to the opinion of the Defense Ministry)
* Strengthening businesses and factories
* Supporting innovation and creating a food-tech eco-system
* Energy resilience including photo-voltaic, bio-gas and storage installations
* Strengthening psycho-social responses and emotional support networks in the community
* Strengthening and increasing social services and communities
* Upgrading education services from pre-school to post-secondary
* Establishing a university in Kiryat Shmona
* Rebuilding and strengthening tourism in the north
* Upgrading and improving regional health services including strengthening and upgrading the forward emergency facility in Kiryat Shmona
* Improving transportation access in the north and between the north and the rest of the country
* Establishing basic social institutions such a resilience institute and national rehabilitation center
* Promoting municipal innovation and upgrading, and the expansion of rural communities
* Strengthening the economic resilience of local authorities
* Encouraging settlement through various benefits such as increasing development and land subsidies
* Strengthening civil society organizations and businesses in the north or which operate nationally but focus on this area

“Formulating the outline will be carried out in cooperation with the public and in full conjunction with representatives from the relevant authorities, their residents and their communities,” the Prime Minister’s Office pledged.

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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, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.