Gaza Envelope in Israel

Wednesday, 3 April 2024 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Mefalsim © Rikmal/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mefalsim © Rikmal/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Gaza Envelope encompasses the populated areas in the Southern District of Israel that are within 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) of the Gaza Strip border and are therefore within range of mortar shells and Qassam rockets launched from the Gaza Strip.

The border between Israel and the Gaza Strip was established in the 1949 Armistice Agreement between Israel and Egypt, signed at the end of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and was further defined in the agreement of February 1950. Many settlements on the Israeli side of the border (such as Sa’ad and Nirim) were established even before that, while others (such as Sderot and Nahal Oz) were founded not long after the demarcation of the border. However, the term “Gaza Envelope” has been applied to these communities only in the 21st century.

Following the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, there was an increase in cross-border shelling and rocket attacks into Israel. Data collected by the Israeli Security Agency showed an increase in shelling from 401 shells in 2005 rising year-on-year to 2,048 in 2008 before falling back to 569 in 2009. In response to the increase in shelling, in 2007 the Knesset passed the “Assistance to Sderot and the Western Negev (Temporary Provision) Law, 2007”, which recognized these communities (and additional communities in the area designated by the Minister of Finance‘s order) as “Confrontation-line Communities” and gave them special privileges (temporarily, until the end of 2008). Additional legislative measures extended the validity of some of the benefits, with certain changes, until the end of 2014. This area came to be known colloquially as the “Gaza Envelope.”

In the 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, attackers from the Gaza Strip infiltrated many communities in the Gaza Envelope, murdering hundreds of people, kidnapping hundreds including elderly, kids and babies, and pregnant women, and causing extensive damage. Over 1,200 rockets were fired at the city of Ashkelon as of October 24. Therefore Ashkelon was designated as a community whose residents and business owners are entitled to compensation from the state also for indirect war damages caused to them for one year.

Sufa © Segevmatuf/cc-by-sa-4.0 Raketenreichweiten vom Gazastreifen. Gaza Envelope befindet sich in dem etwa 7 km breiten Streifen um den Gazastreifen herum © Lencer/cc-by-sa-3.0 Havat Shikmim © Eman Kibbutz Zikim © Shulamit Zimmerman/cc-by-sa-4.0 Ein HaShlosha © Michael Jacobson/cc-by-sa-4.0 Gvar'am © Hanay/cc-by-sa-3.0 Kefar Aza © Deror Avi/cc-by-sa-3.0 Mefalsim © Rikmal/cc-by-sa-3.0 Nahal Oz © flickr.com - Ian McKellar/cc-by-sa-2.0 Rocket ranges from the Gaza Strip. Gaza Envelope is located in the approximately 7 km wide strip around the Gaza Strip © Mor2/cc-by-sa-3.0 Sderot © Dr. Avishai Teicher/cc-by-2.5
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Raketenreichweiten vom Gazastreifen. Gaza Envelope befindet sich in dem etwa 7 km breiten Streifen um den Gazastreifen herum © Lencer/cc-by-sa-3.0
The attack by Hamas initiated the 2023 Israel–Hamas war. Most residents were evacuated to various locations throughout Israel, while there was also a gradual reopening of operations in the different communities. The attack solidified a breakdown in trust between Gaza Envelope residents and the Israeli state, as residents blame the state for failing to protect them from years of rocket fire and ultimately, infiltration by Palestinian armed militants. Many residents expressed unwillingness to return to their homes until full security was ensured by the Israeli state.

The Israeli government on October 19 created a new agency called the Tekuma (Revival) Administration to rebuild the communities devastated by the October 7 attacks. The agency had a 5-year mandate and was headed by Moshe Edri, chairman of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, who reported directly to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The agency’s focus was the regional councils within 7 kilometers of Gaza: Eshkol, Hof Ashkelon, Sdot Negev, and Sha’ar HaNegev. The government allocated $308 million to the agency, charged with physically rebuilding the destroyed areas, improve trust in the government, and serve as a “unified central response.”

The Israeli government subsequently approved a 5-year $4.9 billion plan to rehabilitate and develop the Gaza Envelope area. Returning residents who receive up to $275,000, depending on how close to the border they live, and new residents would be eligible for up to $137,000. The plan called for a discount on the municipal property tax, a temporary corporate tax cut, and preferential treatment for local vendors.

The following communities were included in the list of communities in southern confrontation line area, published by the Israel Tax Authority: Sderot city, Alumim, Ami’oz, Avshalom, Be’eri, Bror Hayil, Dekel, Dorot, Ein HaBesor, Ein HaShlosha, Erez, Gevim, Gvar’am, Havat Shikmim, Holit, Ibim, Karmia, Kerem Shalom, Kfar Aza, Kfar Maimon, Kissufim, Magen, Mavki’im, Mefalsim, Mivtahim, Nahal Oz, Netiv HaAsara, Nir Am, Nir Oz, Nir Yitzhak, Nirim, Ohad, Or HaNer, Pri Gan, Re’im, Sa’ad, Sde Nitzan, Sdei Avraham, Shlomit, Shokeda, Shuva, Sufa, Talmei Eliyahu, Talmei Yosef, Tkuma, Tushia, Tzohar, Yad Mordechai, Yakhini, Yated, Yesha, Yevul, Zikim and Zimrat.

Read more on Wikipedia Gaza Envelope (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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