Israel’s cabinet approved earlier this month a plan to develop a new community in the Sdot Negev Regional Council Area in keeping with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's long standing stated policy of taking steps to build up infrastructure in the Negev.
The plan was put in place in order to attract Israeli citizens to move to the area and called for an initial investment sufficient to attract as many as 500 families to the new town, to be named Hanun. The area designated for new construction is to the east of the existing community of Kibbutz Sa’ad, which was founded nearly a year before the modern State of Israel came into existence.
But what makes this new community even more noteworthy is that it is being built just east of the border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
"This is a great day for the State of Israel. We are building a new community in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip…I am proud that we passed the decision in the Cabinet today. We are moving forward.”
Residents in these periphery communities live under near constant threat of rocket attacks by Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip. They have 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter when the red alert siren is sounded.
“This is 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,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said while meeting with Sdot Negev Regional Council Chairman Tamir Idan. “This is a very big thing – this is the essence of Zionism."
Idan said he was moved by Netanyahu’s statement.
“I remember that meeting in which we thought about how to cause people not to leave, but how to bring in new people. And when I told you, you told me 'Do you think they will come?' I told you, ‘Let us do this' and you said, 'Let's do it.' Six years later and we are standing here today.”
He went on to point out that the population of the areas adjacent to the Gaza Strip continues to grow.
“All of the communities are full and thriving. People ask me 'What is the secret?' I tell them, 'Community, education, strength, Zionism and assistance.' These things together are bringing all of Israel to us. I have a waiting list. They called this morning and asked where to sign up, I told them 'I have over 1,000 and do not even know where to start.' This is a huge event.”
The population in the Sdot Negev Regional Council Area has increased despite these constant threats of terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip – threats that were brought home dramatically on Oct. 20 when the IDF found another tunnel dug under the border by Hamas-based terrorists, meant to be used in an infiltration attack.
“The Sensory Concrete Barrier, which was built over the last years and will be completed soon, provided the necessary indication for IDF engineering forces to locate the offensive terror tunnel,” the IDF said in a statement. “The Hamas terror organization is responsible for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it, and will bear the consequences for terror activity against Israeli civilians. The IDF is determined to fulfill its mission to defend Israeli sovereignty and civilians, and will continue mitigating terror above and below ground wherever required.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.