JERUSALEM (Jan. 12)
A ministerial committee has decided to provide financial benefits for towns in northern Israel equal to those given Jewish settlements in the administered territories.
The decision last week followed a comprehensive study of conditions in northern Israel which is economically depressed and vulnerable to terrorist attacks from Lebanon. A special committee of experts, headed by the Director General of the Interior Ministry. Haim Kubersky, will make recommendations to improve the situation in Kiryat Shemona, a town on the Lebanese border which recently came under renewed Katyusha rocket attacks.
Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin pledged that the government is committed to the security of the border towns. But the economic needs of the region will also be considered. Townships and settlements in northern Israel will receive larger financial grants from the Interior Ministry and additional aid for education.
The coastal city of Nahariya, a municipality which antedates the founding of the State, will be given the status of a development town to qualify if for extra financial assistance. A special effort will be made to encourage industry in the region.