what was decided?

Government Decision 1041 instructs to act to increase the number of university students living in student villages in the Negev and Galilee settlements and to establish additional villages which will be defined as national priority settlements, in order to strengthen these regions. It was decided to establish a steering committee managed by the General Manager of the Ministry for Development of the Negev and Galilee, who will be responsible for follow-up and implementation of the decision. The Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization was to be the implementing body of this decision. It was further decided that a sum of NIS 1.5 million would be allocated towards the implementation of the decision. The Ministry of Finance is authorized to allocate a further NIS 3 million every budget year. In addition, NIS 1.7 million would be allocated as assistance to students, and a further NIS 1 million for new immigrant students (Olim) who would integrate in the student villages.


According to Government Decision 1964, a students’ village would be established in Sderot in order to enhance and strengthen Sderot's civil resilience. The student village will include approx. 150 housing units for about 300 students. The government decision allocates a sum of NIS 40 million towards the establishment and operation of the students’ village, to be divided over the years 2014-2015, including additional participation of NIS 20 million in the budgeting of the village via the “Ayalim” association.  The budgets would be operated by the Ministry for Development of the Negev and Galilee, who will contract with an external supplier for the establishment and operation of the students’ village

View full government decision (Hebrew)
What's up with that?

As at November 2016, decisions 1946 and 1041 were only partially implemented. Since the decision was made, two students’ housing projects were constructed, in collaboration with the “Ayalim” association: stage A of the Sderot village, and an additional project in the “Habanim” school in the city of Lod, today housing about 80 students. As to the expansion of the village in Sderot to about 150 housing units, the matter is now the responsibility of the Sderot Municipality, but has not been implemented yet. At the time of writing this report, over two years after its establishment, the Sderot village includes 72 students living in approx. 36 housing units. 


Shortly after the decision was made, a bi-ministerial steering committee was established, which convened regularly with the participation of representatives of the ministries and of the “Ayalim” association.  In 2014, the chairman of the “Ayalim” association was arrested for suspected bribery and receipt of large sums of money under false pretenses, in connection to budgets granted to the association, within the “Israel Beitenu” corruption scandal. This scandal has delayed the implementation of the decision and stopped its progress for a long period of time. Three years later, the implementation of the decision is still partial. During this period, Operation “Protective Edge” did result in the acceleration and promotion of the implementation of the first stages of the decision, as following the operation significant resources were allocated towards the rehabilitation of the Western Negev and Sderot area, which had suffered the harshest damages.

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