After visiting the Gaza Envelope area three times this month, first at the beginning of the kite terror attacks, where he estimated the damage, and then to examine ways of dealing with the new threat from the Gaza Strip, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon met this week with Tamir Idan, Head of the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol Regional Council, and Alon Davidi, Mayor of Sderot, in his office in Tel Aviv.
During the meeting, the heads of the councils thanked the Finance Minister for allocating resources for the compensation of local farmers. “In the first week of the kite fires, I came to the burned field at Kibbutz Be’eri and understood the damage that was done. I instructed the ministry staff to act and to advance the compensation, and that’s what happened,” Kahlon said. “This is the least we can do for those farmers, the next step is to make sure the fires don’t happen in the first place”.
The total number of farmers’ claims since the beginning of the kite terror attacks has been 67, some of which have already been paid. About 5,000 dunams of agricultural land have been damaged so far.
“In the last three years we have seen a boom in the region’s moshavim, kibbutzim and Sderot, we do not want it to stop,” says Eshkol Regional Council head Gadi Yarkoni. “However, the fires block roads, create a terrible smell, and tourism and small businesses are hurt as a result. This is a functional emergency that is not a war.”
The heads of the local authorities mentioned requests from small business owners for compensation for the small businesses that were hit by kite terrorism, and asked to compare previous business cycles from the same period. Minister Kahlon instructed his team to examine the issue and deal with it as quickly as possible.