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Tuesday, November 27, 2012
PMO Dir.-Gen. Harel Locker Tours Communities in

PMO Dir.-Gen. Harel Locker Tours Communities in the Area Adjacent to the
Gaza Strip and Ashdod
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Prime Minister's Office Director-General Harel Locker, who was appointed by
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to head the Government team on ensuring
that the needs of the residents and communities that were affected by
Operation Pillar of Defense are dealt with quickly
http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Spokesman/Pages/spokeminuy221112.aspx
today (Tuesday, 27 November 2012), toured communities adjacent to the Gaza
Strip and Ashdod.

The team's work in the days since the conclusion of the operation was
presented at the discussion that PMO Dir.-Gen. Locker held today with the
heads of the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip (Sderot and the Eshkol,
Sha'ar Hanegev, Sdot Negev and Ashkelon Coast regional councils) and senior
officials from the relevant Government ministries, at the Eshkol Regional
Council offices. He noted that in addition to the immediate response by the
tax authorities regarding compensation for direct damages, the Knesset
Finance Committee today approved directives on compensation for indirect
damages (loss of work days and compensation for businesses). As per Prime
Minister Netanyahu's instructions, an outline for quicker-than-usual
compensation was formulated and approved. Locker also said that a
preliminary NIS 15 million aid package has been approved for local
authorities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. In education, a plan is
currently being formulated on restoring lost classroom hours; the emotional
needs of children and young people are also being met. The team also
discussed ways to encourage commercial activity and tourism in the area.

Locker underscored the great importance of assisting area residents and
local councils and asked all Government ministries to continue joining in
the effort. "The fact that we are meeting for the second time within a few
days
http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Spokesman/Pages/spokelock221112.aspx
expresses our commitment to the residents and communities of the south. We
must work to quickly normal life," he said.

In his meeting with Ashdod Mayor Dr. Yehiel Lasri and senior municipality
officials, and after visiting a building that took a direct hit by a rocket,
Locker said, "The directive from the Prime Minister, on whose behalf I have
come here today, is to work for the welfare of the residents of the area and
deal with the problems that have arisen since the operation in a generous,
efficient and rapid manner and in a way that minimizes the bureaucratic
process. There is no doubt that the strength of the city of Ashdod stems
from the national resilience of its residents, as well as from the defense
afforded by Iron Dome and other protective measures. Naturally, we will
continue to assist in its development, economic prosperity and excellent
functioning."

The work of PMO Dir.-Gen. Locker's team follows up on recent Government
decisions such as those to approve full protection for all communities 4.5-7
kilometers from the Gaza Strip
http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Spokesman/Pages/spokeMigun281012.aspx
to approve an allocation of NIS 7.6 million in order to complete the
financing of building protected daycare centers in communities with 0-7
kilometers from the Gaza Strip
http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Spokesman/Pages/spokeMimun181112.aspx
and to approve economic benefits for Sderot and the area adjacent to the
Gaza Strip for 2013
http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Spokesman/Pages/spokeHatavot041112.aspx
These decisions complete the strategy of national resilience in the area
adjacent to the Gaza Strip: A combination of diplomatic, security and
civilian components that strengthens the fortitude of the residents and
councils in the area.

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