Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon promised on Monday that Israeli farmers in the south who suffered losses due to the fire kites launched from Gaza will be receiving full compensation.
“Already last month, when the phenomenon of flaming kites began, I went to the Gaza area and declared that the State of Israel recognizes the phenomenon as terror for all intents and purposes and the residents will be compensated up to the last shekel,” he said at the faction meeting of his Kulanu party.
“In order to make it easier for the farmers to get through this difficult period, we decided today to grant advances of 50 percent of the estimated cost of damages and the rest will be dealt with as quickly as possible without delays,” Kahlon said.
The finance minister said that so far 25 claims have been filed on damage to 5,000 dunams of wheat fields, orchards and irrigation systems.
In addition, Kahlon addressed the problem of ordinary agricultural crime, which has plagued the sector for years.
“A few hours ago, I held a discussion with the Minister of Agriculture, in which we decided to advance 16 million shekels for subsidized insurance for farmers who will be affected by agricultural crime in the coming month,” he said.
“This is part of a comprehensive plan to eliminate the agricultural crime, that we are forming with the Ministries of Agriculture and Homeland Security, and as part of the plan we will strengthen the security forces in the relevant areas, we will intensify the punishment and impose increased fines on the criminals.”
“We see agriculture and the preservation of the land of Israel as a supreme value and an important economic sector, and the government of Israel stands by the farmers during the difficult period they are going through – we will not abandon them,” Kahlon concluded.