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March 18, 2014 12:58 pm
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Netanyahu: ‘My Policy is Clear – Any Firing of Rockets Will Be Met With an Immediate and Sharp Response’ (VIDEO)

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the 2014 AIPAC Policy Conference, on March 4, 2014. Photo: Algemeiner.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said his government’s “policy is clear” to retaliate for each rocket attack against the Jewish state.

In a speech at the Negev Conference, in Sderot, Netanyahu said, “In the wake of Operation Pillar of Defense, quiet – of a kind unknown in a decade – has prevailed here. There will be no trickle of rockets. My policy is clear: Any firing of rockets will be met with an immediate and sharp response.”

In a broader review of his coalition government’s first year in office, Netanyahu said, “Today, we are marking exactly one year since the government was formed. One of the main goals that we set was to develop the Negev and the Galilee and bring them closer to the center. We have invested more than NIS 10 billion ($2.8 billion) in transportation infrastructures. We built a railway station here in Sderot. Be’er Sheva is becoming a global cyber center. We blocked illegal migration.”

“In the past year, we have built up Israel’s security in the face of regional turmoil and the Israeli economy has continued to grow more than the economies of the world which are still dealing with an economic crisis,” Netanyahu said.

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In a statement to media, his office also presented a whiteboard animation clip, narrated in Hebrew, that showed many of his government’s achievements over the past year.

The milestones could be organized as infrastructure investments, innovation and efficiency and then some of the results generated by those decisions.

In terms of infrastructure, in 2013, NIS 12.8 billion was invested in transportation infrastructures throughout the country in order to link the Negev and the Galilee with the center. Such projects include: Golani interchange, the Sderot railway station, widening the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, the Krayot bypass road, in Haifa’s northern suburbs, and Yagur interchange.

Also, the 242-kilometer border fence in the south has been completed and the number of illegal migrants entering Israel’s cities has declined to zero. The border fence has ended illegal migration into Israel and also stopped many attacks, making 2013 the quietest year in the South in a decade.

The government also approved the Digital Israel plan in the framework of which, fiber optic cables will be installed throughout the country.

Of new programming, the implementation of free education for toddlers provides 290,000 children from ages 3 to 4 with free education, a saving of NIS 800 per month per child. A new program also provides free dental treatment for children under 12 – so far, over 3 million free dental treatments have been given.

Daylight savings time was extended, saving the economy approximately NIS 300 million per annum. The Open Skies reform has led to a 66% increase in low-cost flights.

In terms of results, growth in 2013 was among the highest in the West, up 3.3% in Israel, compared to the OECD average of 1.2%. Unemployment was also among the lowest in the world, at 6.2% in Israel compared to the OECD average of 8%. Meanwhile, Tel Aviv ranked second on Start-Up Genome’s Start-Up Ecosystem index, behind only Silicon Valley.

Watch an animated whiteboard presentation, in Hebrew, of the government’s achievements in its first year.

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