The Mayor of Ashkelon, Tomer Glam, met last night (Monday) with Defense Minister Bnei Gantz, against the background of the criteria being formulated for the implementation of the decision regarding the protection of southern localities. "Without properly addressing the plight of the severe protection gaps in the old neighborhoods of the city of Ashkelon", He claims.
The decision shows that the budget allocated for the issue is NIS 250 million, when it is not clear how much of it will be allocated for the benefit of the city of Ashkelon. As is well known, effective, thorough and extensive protection of thousands of homes in the city’s old neighborhoods is estimated at more than a billion shekels, so the decision does not provide a serious answer to the issue of protection.
Also, while the state finances, and rightly so, the protection of the Gaza Envelope and northern cities, the criteria formed in the decision to protect the southern settlements show that Ashkelon residents who do not have protection will have to pay out of pocket for the protection solutions required by state-subsidized loans. In a large proportion of cases, there are thousands of residents, lacking the economic capacity to allow such a solution.
The mayor raised before the Minister of Defense the problematic nature of the decision and the discriminatory criteria between the residents of Ashkelon and the residents of the south and north.
‘There is no point in lending to residents for protection. The state needs to focus on grants to residents so they can build MMADs, as it does in other cities in the country. This is the responsibility of the state. “After the conversation between us, I expect the minister to work to change the decision,” the mayor said at the end of the meeting.
Photo: Ashkelon Municipality Spokeswoman