Residents in Israel's southern areas have been paid NIS 1.64 billion since Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, and more than NIS 400 million has been invested in rebuilding infrastructure damaged during the fighting, and in the construction of new infrastructure, the Ministry of Defense National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) reported today.
Representatives of the Prime Minister's Office; the Ministries of Construction and Housing, Finance, and Agriculture; the Israel Tax Authority; and other agencies attended a conference in Ibim near the Gaza Strip. Figures reported today by Ministry of Defense deputy director general and NEMA acting head Bezalel Traiber show that NIS 1.51 billion, most of the compensation paid to southern residents, was for indirect damage. NIS 133 million was paid for direct damage, among other things by rockets and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip.
28,000 claims were filed by residents and business owners following Operation Protective Edge, of which 96% to date have been paid. 4,600 property tax claims were filed, and the Ministry of Defense said that 99.7% of these had been handled and paid. Following Operation Protective Edge, the government put NEMA in charge of the national plan for rebuilding and strengthening dozens of communities located near the Gaza Strip.
Figures reported by NEMA indicate that NIS 184 million has been invested in rebuilding roads, sidewalks, lighting, communications, water and sewage, public buildings, and public spaces. NIS 76 million was invested in rebuilding 450 kilometers of agricultural roads in 25 agricultural communities near the Gaza Strip. Another NIS 56 million was invested in upgrading access roads to the communities and lighting installation. The Ministry of Defense said that this work would continue until the end of the year.
At the same time, the Home Front Command has initiated a venture for enhancing building reinforcement and security in the communities near the Gaza Strip at an estimated cost in the hundreds of millions of shekels. Traiber said, "The effect of the national plan to rebuild and strengthen communities near the Gaza Strip is already visible in the greater sense of security and resilience of the residents, and in the momentum imparted to these communities' growth and expansion."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 28, 2015
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