update deskIsrael at War

Evacuated residents of Sderot can return home on Feb. 4

Displaced residents of the nearby communities of Gevim and Ibim will also be allowed to return, along with additional towns located east of Route 232.

Civilians in Sderot, Oct. 15, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Civilians in Sderot, Oct. 15, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

The evacuated residents of the southern Israeli city of Sderot will be allowed to return to their homes on Feb. 4.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also ordered that displaced residents of the nearby northwestern Negev communities of Gevim and Ibim be allowed to return, along with additional towns located east of Route 232, Channel 12 reported on Sunday.

It was reported earlier this month that the IDF Home Front Command is preparing to allow a partial return home for residents of the northwestern Negev.

Residents of communities located four to seven kilometers (2.5 miles to 4.3 miles) from the Gaza Strip will be able to voluntarily return to their homes. They will receive grants of 200 shekels (some $55) per adult and 100 shekels (around $28) per child.

Kibbutz Bror Hayil, Kibbutz Dorot, Kibbutz Gvar’am, Moshav Mavki’im and Moshav Yakhini fall within this range. An exception was made for residents of Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, which is less than two miles from the border.

Sderot, a community of 30,000 barely half a mile from the Gaza Strip, was the first Israeli city to face state-aided evacuation in mid-October, ahead of the IDF’s ground incursion into Gaza that began on Oct. 27. All residents within seven kilometers of the Strip were eventually evacuated.

The city was a major target during the mass invasion of Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7. Around 1,200 civilians and soldiers were murdered on that day, thousands more were wounded and some 240 hostages were taken back to Gaza.

In late November, Netanyahu visited the police station in Sderot that was demolished during a fierce battle with Hamas terrorists during the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 assault.

Gunmen stormed the building and barricaded themselves inside on that day, killing around 30 police officers and civilians. Israel Defense Forces troops surrounded the station, killing at least 10 Hamas terrorists before bulldozing the structure and killing the rest of the terrorists inside.

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