Photo: Flash90

Israel to build new settlement near Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heralded the creation of a new settlement in the Sdot Negev Regional Council of the northwestern Negev, near the separation fence with Gaza.

“This is great news for Israel,” Netanyahu told his cabinet during the weekly meeting, shortly before the ministers formally approved the plan. “We continue to develop the southern towns, including the moshavim and kibbutzim,” he vowed, including “new neighborhoods in Sderot and Netivot.”

“I must tell you that there is a waiting list for every home,” he disclosed, proclaiming, “This is the best proof of our national resilience.”

“It is both an internal message and an external message. We are there in front of enemies who want to uproot us, and they discover not only that we are not uprooted, we are planting, building and creating. This is a very big thing. This is the essence of Zionism,” underscored the Israeli Premier.

The government has reportedly allocated  ₪ one million Shequels ($296,000) for the development of the new settlement, built east of Kibbutz Sa’ad and south of Sderot under the working name of “Hanun” for an initial 500 families.

The decision was immediately welcomed by local and national leaders.

“This is our real victory as residents over the terror from Gaza,” said Sdot Negev Regional Council Head Tamir Idan in a video he posted on his Facebook account, declaring, “This is a holiday for the State of Israel in general and the Gaza border communities in particular.” Idan expressed thanks for “a really brave and special government decision,” which he said was 6 years in the making.

He also said that Israel’s “Gaza border communities’ population has grown by 30%” and are “full, bustling with life,” due to “Community, education, power, Zionism” which “together bring all the people of Israel to us.”

Also welcoming the development was Israeli Regional Council Center Chairman Shay Hajaj, who tweeted that the new settlement “is of immense national importance” because “it contains a statement of Israel’s determination to continue to build and develop settlement in all parts of the country.”

Current Minister of Education Yoav Gallant said that back in 2017 when he served as Housing Minister he had stressed the need for a new settlement in the Gaza periphery in a plan he delivered to Prime Minister Netanyahu. “The development and building of the country is a duty and a right and a central element in the education for the love of the homeland,” Gallant wrote on Facebook.

Dual Minister of Higher Education and Water Resources Ze’ev Elkin expressed happiness in a Twitter message “that all government ministers have united to support a decision that has great settlement and national value,” and thanked Netanyahu and the Housing Ministry for accepting his proposal to expedite necessary bureaucratic procedures to proceed within 3 months.

There has yet to be a formal response from the Palestinian leaders to the development.