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Israeli government OKs new national priorities map

The plan expands state assistance to communities in the social and geographic periphery .

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sept. 10, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sept. 10, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday approved Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal for a new map of national priorities to reduce socioeconomic gaps.

The map will for the first time include a category for communities located within 4 km. (2.5 miles) of the borders, in accordance with the security evaluation of the IDF for 2023, which was updated for the first time since 2017, the government said in a statement.

“Today we will also announce a revolution in the national priority map. We are providing huge budgets to advance Israeli communities on the periphery: tax benefits, various subsidies, priority in education and employment, and I am talking about all sectors of society,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

“We are adding new communities to the national priority plan. This will be a great burst of energy for many communities in the Negev and the Galilee, close to the fence and in Judea and Samaria,” the premier continued.

The new national priorities map will also emphasize assistance for communities in socioeconomic cluster 5 as determined by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

“The absolute majority of cluster 5 communities have received negative marks in the index and are below the national average, giving rise to the desire to expand the assistance to additional communities and thereby intensify the trend of closing the gaps in society,” an earlier government statement read.

Cluster 5 is the most prosperous of the clusters that contains Arab towns. None of the 60 towns in the top five socioeconomic clusters (clusters 6-10) is Arab.

The CBS uses the following criteria to review the socioeconomic level of a community’s population: demographic composition, education, social welfare, employment and standard of living.

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