Israel approves 1.77-bln-USD plan to aid northern residents amid conflict


JERUSALEM, May 27 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli government on Monday approved a 6.5-billion-shekel (about 1.77 billion U.S. dollars) plan to help residents of the country's northern regions amid the ongoing conflict with Hezbollah on the Lebanese border.

According to a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, the plan aims to solve immediate and long-term issues arising from the conflict and to rehabilitate and develop the cities and villages under threat in the confrontation line region.

On Oct. 8, 2023, a day after the outbreak of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah entered the fray, resulting in casualties, property damage, and the displacement of many residents in the border area.

The plan will help evacuated residents return to their homes by increasing local security, reducing learning gaps in schools, strengthening municipal and social services, supporting businesses, and preventing unemployment while assisting tourism and agricultural sectors.

In the long term, the plan will support innovation, particularly in the field of food technology in the northern regions, promote energy resilience, maintain social services, restore tourism, improve medical and transportation services, and facilitate the establishment of a new university in the northeasternmost city of Kiryat Shmona.

"This is good news for the residents of the north," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted as saying. "We will provide a socio-economic solution for the north and a broad security solution," he noted.

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