The Israeli government has allocated 700 million shekels ($187 million) in support of Israeli Jewish settlers in the illegal settlements near the Gaza Strip, local media reported yesterday.
The Times of Israel reported Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that this allocation was meant for economic programmes that "strengthen the resilience" of the settlers.
"The resilience of the residents of the Gaza area [settlers] is an important component of national strength," Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting, according to the Times of Israel.
He added: "We will invest an additional NIS 700 million in the plan for the welfare of the residents of the area. They are steadfast and we support them."
Netanyahu's office said, "the decision to provide economic assistance includes the establishment of various factories to southern communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip and the development of industrial zones, as well as assistance in education, health, and social welfare."
Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said: "We have the responsibility and obligation toward the residents of Sderot and the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, in light of the difficulties they encounter due to the security situation."
He added: "The major investment in the residents and businesses in the area over the next two years underscores this commitment."