Photo Credit: Moshe Shai / Flash 90
Destruction at Kibbutz Be'eri after the October 7 attack.

The Israeli government on Sunday approved extension of the replacement housing coverage for internal refugees who were forced to flee their homes in Gaza Envelope communities as a result of the October 7 invasion and massacre by thousands of Hamas-led terrorists.

At least 30,000 residents from the Gaza border communities (known as the Otef, or Gaza Envelope), were forced to evacuate their homes after October 7.


The government authorized Tekuma Authority Director Moshe Edri and the Authority to extend coverage of the internal refugees’ lodging solutions around the country until August 15, 2024.

The accommodations are being financed by the state.

On October 7, the residents of the area were evacuated to temporary quarters in hotels, sheltered housing, apartments and additional absorption facilities. In recent months, the Authority has overseen the return of residents to their homes in communities in the area or to intermediate quarters as per the damages and needs of each community. Approximately 70 percent of the residents of the area have returned to their homes in recent months.

The decision was made in accordance with “professional considerations and an assessment of the overall conditions that would allow for the residents to return to their homes,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Hamas and allied terrorists in Gaza (ie: Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization) have continued to launch rockets and anti-tank missiles at communities along the Gaza border, despite IDF efforts over the past eight months to dismantle the terrorist organizations.

Although the rocket fire has been greatly reduced, it has yet to cease entirely; just a few days ago the terrorists used the humanitarian safe zone in southern Gaza as a base from which to continue launching the rocket fire. It is safe to assume that at least in some cases, they were aided and abetted by the so-called “innocent Gaza civilians” sheltering in the safe zone.

Prime Minister’s Office Director General Yossi Shelley and the ministries of Finance, Justice and Tourism, as well as the Tekuma Authority were all involved in the decision, which comes against the backdrop of continued combat in the area.

The decision was also seen as necessary to prevent harm to the rebuilding and recovery process of the communities and to facilitate optimal integration in the return to the permanent communities. The Tekuma Authority will coordinate the residents’ return to their homes with the Finance Ministry based on the security and reconstruction conditions.

The government also decided the Tekuma Authority and Finance Ministry would organize activities for the residents outside the absorption facilities and community housing solutions via the local authorities in the area.

The Tekuma Authority has also been tasked with evaluating the ongoing needs of the residents and to formulate responses while implementing the strategic plan for renewal and development of the Gaza Envelope area.

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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.