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Netanyahu Unveils $950 Million Aid Package for Northern Israel

A Comprehensive Initiative to Revitalize and Secure Northern Communities

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a substantial aid plan on Monday, committing 3.5 billion shekels ($950 million) to rehabilitate northern Israel. This region has been under near-daily attacks by Hezbollah since October 7, leaving over 60,000 residents displaced for nearly eight months. The plan, named "Northern Dawn," includes both immediate relief and long-term development strategies.

Netanyahu emphasized the plan's significance, stating, "We will greatly assist the residents of the north." The initiative raises the total budget dedicated to northern Israel to 6.5 billion shekels (approximately $1.8 billion).

The Home Affairs, Planning, and Development branch of the Prime Minister’s Office, along with various government ministries and northern local councils, developed the plan. A special staff within the PMO will implement it, with Netanyahu heading a ministerial committee to oversee the policy.

The short-term goals are clear and vital: enhancing safety and certainty for northern communities, unifying and defending these areas, and supporting local businesses and employment security.

The long-term vision includes bolstering economic stability and overall well-being in the region. Key proposals involve creating an innovation and food-tech ecosystem and establishing a new university in Kiryat Shmona.

Netanyahu addressed the ongoing threat from Hezbollah during a visit to the army’s Northern Command headquarters in Safed, Upper Galilee. He mentioned that Israel has "detailed, important, and even surprising plans" to counter the aggression. Just last Thursday, Hezbollah fired around 30 rockets from southern Lebanon into the Upper Galilee.

Additionally, on May 19, Netanyahu met with local council leaders from northern Israel to discuss strategies for returning displaced residents to their homes and compensating them for their losses. He acknowledged that the revival and momentum of the northern border heavily depend on ensuring security.

Israel's commitment to strengthening and securing its northern communities is unwavering. This comprehensive plan not only aims to provide immediate relief but also sets the stage for a thriving, innovative future in the north.

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