update deskIsrael at War

Herzog: ‘We will return calm to Metula and the entire north’

The Israeli president visited the evacuated town near the Lebanese border.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog meets IDF officers in the evacuated town of Metula, near the Lebanon border, May 28, 2024. Photo by Maayan Toaf/GPO.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog meets IDF officers in the evacuated town of Metula, near the Lebanon border, May 28, 2024. Photo by Maayan Toaf/GPO.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited the north on Tuesday, meeting with Metula’s mayor, David Azoulay and others from the evacuated town on the Lebanese border.

Herzog also met with members of the local civilian security squad and IDF reservists serving there, saying that despite the current war, Metula “will exist for hundreds and thousands of more years.”

“Israel sovereignty extends until the border, most definitely. We simply care for the residents and therefore they’re not here. But this war will eventually end in one way or another,” Herzog said.

“I tell you with certainty, and I tell Metula residents: We will definitely return here,” the president added. “We will return calm to Metula and the entire north.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also visited the north on Tuesday, telling troops that Israel was committed to safely returning tens of thousands of displaced residents to their homes near the Lebanese border.

“We are committed—in both the civilian and military spheres—to returning the residents safely to their communities and their homes. This is one of the objectives of the war and we are not conceding it,” said the premier during a visit to the IDF Northern District Intelligence Branch base.

Their trips to the north came a day after the government unveiled a 3.5 billion shekel ($950 million) plan to rehabilitate the country’s north, which has suffered near-daily attacks by Hezbollah since Oct. 7. More than 60,000 area residents remain displaced nearly eight months into the war.

The immediate-term plan joins a multi-year plan dubbed “Northern Dawn” that offers specific proposals for rebuilding and developing the region.

The plan’s approval brings the overall budget for Israel’s north to 6.5 billion shekels, or roughly $1.8 billion.

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