A Shin Bet opinion presented this week in the Knesset stated that strengthening the Jewish presence in the Galilee region is a major Israeli security interest. The opinion was expressed during a hearing in the Committee for Public Enterprises chaired by MK Ohad Tal in which the bill of the Minister of National Missions and Settlements Orit Struck, which aims to allow the increase of communities from 400 families to 1,000 and expand the geographical areas to which the communities, was presented. The Negev and Galilee regions, while a part of Israel is referred to as the peripheral areas that are underdeveloped and underpopulated.
The Shin Bet was represented by an unnamed person, who sat behind a curtain during the discussion. "The issue concerns national security," he said. "The expansion of the communities is the establishment of sovereignty based on three components: territorial continuity between the communities, a critical mass in the communities themselves, and governance. The level of settlement in the area brings with it more police and enforcement forces, education, road development, and more."
Committee on Public Projects begins to discuss bill allowing expansion and application of admission criteria to community localities in the Negev and Galilee, in Judea and Samaria and in seam zone localitieshttps://t.co/qwjhJGiAKa pic.twitter.com/5SxXeqDz3g— The Knesset (@KnessetENG) June 19, 2023
To the questions of the members of the Knesset if the Shin Bet supports the sections of the law as they are, and if there is a difference between Judea and Samaria and other regions in their view, the representative replied that this is a security position that does not refer to the law in its details but to the basic principle, especially in the Galilee region.
Also participating in the discussion was the chairman of the Galilee Security Forum, Maj. Gen. Eyal Ben-Reuven, Border Patrol officer Sen. Meir Gozlan, Security chief of the Center for Regional Councils Alon Biton, and retired Superintendent Zohar Dvir, the former Deputy Police Commissioner. All the participants in the discussion expressed support for the bill and said that it has the power to bring a young Jewish population to many of the communities in the Negev and Galilee, thereby ensuring their continued existence.
The construction of 33 playgrounds that are going to be accessible for children with disabilities will soon begin in towns in Israel's peripheral areas.#Israel | #playground | #peripheryhttps://t.co/hL5JxSi0W4— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) June 20, 2023
"This law is critical for the future of Jewish settlement in the Galilee," said Minister Struck. "I initiated it as a full member of the Knesset, and today I am promoting it as Minister of communities. The security personnel who came to the discussion also explained the things as we see them, and agree with the bill. They explained that the strength of rural settlement in the Galilee creates security in the region. Young residents who join the communities and expand them can Join as a significant security contribution. To this end, the communities must be strong, and the communities must be allowed to establish communities in their own style: religious, secular, ecological communities, and communal communities. With many residents, with young age groups, which will strengthen the presence and preserve life in the long term."