The government will allocate a budget of about NIS 3 million to fund vacations for the children of the Gaza Strip who, due to the tense security situation in the area, have found themselves locked in their homes for the past three days without being able to enjoy the summer vacation.
Oded Forer, Minister for the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, announced he will allocate the funds from his office for the benefit of the children of the area around the Gaza Strip.
He decided that the funds will be transferred directly to the local authorities in the Gaza Strip area and will be used exclusively to take the children on vacation in the Galilee region in the north of the country, starting next week.
“The reality that during the summer months children are locked in their homes just because they live in the Northern Negev region and surrounding Gaza, is unacceptable,” said Forer on Thursday.
Israel is “obligated first of all to these children, and at least the little that can be done immediately to allow them to enjoy their summer vacation, we will do,” he added.
The IDF has decided to maintain its state of high alert in the Gaza Strip area on Thursday, for the third day in a row, pending an attack by the Islamic Jihad terror organization.
The high alert was announced Tuesday morning after Israeli Special Forces arrested in Jenin Sheikh Bassam al-Saadi, the leader of the Islamic Jihad in the Samaria area, and after the terror organization threatened to retaliate.
The IDF shut down all the roads surrounding the Gaza Strip and stopped all train traffic in the area. Several communities are under complete lockdown, without the ability to leave their homes at all.
Member of Knesset Itamar Ben Gvir came to visit the residents of the south on Thursday. He first visited the city of Sderot, and then tried to visit the residents of Nir Am and Erez, who have been under siege for three days, but was blocked by police who said that he could not enter the area.
The Commander of the IDF Southern Command Aluf Eliezer Toledano announced that Ben Gvir will be able to enter the area on foot only during the hours of darkness, and despite his parliamentary immunity, he will not be able to enter the area during the day for fear of his safety.
“It is not possible for the Israeli government to surrender to the Islamic Jihad. If they threaten, they should be decimated, and on any threat coming from Gaza we should shoot and the Gaza should be put under curfew,” he stated.
“The reality in which residents can only enter and leave on foot and only during the hours of darkness is insane and constitutes a moral and security bankruptcy of the Israeli government,” he charged.
Israeli analyst Yoni Ben Menachem, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), warned that the Islamic Jihad has created a new equation of a threat from the Gaza Strip on Israel in response to the arrest of a senior terrorist in the territories of Judea and Samaria.
“[Prime Minister Yair] Lapid and [Defense Minister Benny] Gantz created a dangerous precedent by giving in to the threat and undermining Israeli deterrence. What will happen if a senior terrorist of the Islamic Jihad in Judea and Samaria is killed?” he asked.
He called on them to “end the security weakness” and order the IDF to immediately remove the restrictions on the Gaza Strip.
“Send a clear and sharp message to the Islamic Jihad and prepare the IDF for a painful attack in the Gaza Strip. Enough with the slouching! Don’t you have national respect?” he demanded.