newsIsrael at War

Netanyahu presents $1.75 billion plan to rehabilitate north

The "Northward" program will soon be submitted for government approval.

Two Israelis were wounded by a Hezbollah rocket in Kiryat Shmona, close to the border with Lebanon, Feb. 13, 2024. Photo by Erez Ben Simon/TPS.
Two Israelis were wounded by a Hezbollah rocket in Kiryat Shmona, close to the border with Lebanon, Feb. 13, 2024. Photo by Erez Ben Simon/TPS.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) presented a program to rehabilitate and develop evacuated communities near the northern border “confrontation line” with Lebanon during a meeting with local council heads on Thursday.

PMO Director General Yossi Shelley said the “Northward” program, which will soon be submitted for government approval, would provide relief in the areas of security, community and societal cohesion, economic development, and strengthening northern municipalities.

In addition, Shelley presented a multi-year plan that proposes opening a university in the Upper Galilee city of Kiryat Shmona; increasing subsidies for regional development, urban renewal and infrastructure; supporting agricultural and food tech initiatives; and “promoting excellence.”

The plan allocates approximately 6.5 billion shekel ($1.75 billion) until 2028, Shelley added, announcing that the PMO would move some of its staff to the north. The plan was formulated by the PMO in conjunction with government ministries and includes “a range of responses and assistance options” to support the communities affected by Hezbollah terrorism since Oct. 7.

Hezbollah attacked Israel in support of Hamas following the Gaza terrorists’ onslaught on southwestern Israel, and has been launching near-daily cross-border attacks on northern Israel, while the Jewish state has responded with aerial attacks and artillery fire.

Hezbollah has killed seven civilians—six Israelis and an Indian worker—and 10 soldiers since it began its attacks at the behest of Iran.

Jerusalem has promised that the approximately 80,000 citizens who live up to 5.5 miles from the northern border will not be asked to return home “until security is established” and Hezbollah is pushed back from the border.

The United States believes a major attack on Israel by Iran or its proxies is imminent and may be launched in the coming days.

Some 21,000 Israeli evacuees from northern border communities remain in hotels across the country, according to data published this week.

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