Cabinet sets aside millions of shekels for the north

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
The Israeli Government will allot a budget of tens of millions of Shekels to local municipalities hit by the conflict in the northern border.

This decision was reached during a meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson. In addition, it was decided that every municipality will get a specialized budget allocation to deal with their specific needs arising from the emergency situation.

The amount allocated will be decided today based on criteria to be established. During the meeting Finance Minister Hirchson updated the PM about negotiations that are taking place between the government, the liaison office with the financial organizations, and the New Workers General Federation regarding compensation for employers and employees in the north.

PM Olmert said yesterday that “the intention is to get an agreement with the heads of industry and the unions so that everyone could be fully compensated for direct as well as indirect damage to areas hit by these attacks so no Israeli would get hurt financially.” Olmert added that he gave special instruction to the Ministry of Finance to allocate tens of millions of Shekels to assist the local municipalities to provide all the services and needs so their residents could get through during this time.

In addition to the budgetary allocations, the Prime Minister’s office has also opened a special crisis management office in the north, designated to providing better assistance for the local residents currently under crisis.

The special office, headed by Head of Prime Minister’s office Ra’anan Dinur, will pass a daily evaluation of the situation in the north to the Prime Minister, who will then disseminate it to the different government ministries in an effort to increase efficiency and coordination within the government and provide quick and effective assistance to the local residents.

The special office is planned to be in operation for the duration of the war.

This is the third time such a special office has been operated. The first two times it was operated during the second Gulf War and another during the disengagement from Gaza. During those times the office was located in the PM’s office in Jerusalem, but this time it was decided to bring it closer to the field.

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