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The government intends to provide the members of certain key professions who move to Negev development towns with a rent subsidy, Negev and Galilee Development Minister Yaakov Edri told the Knesset Finance Committee on Tuesday.

The subsidy, between NIS 500 and 1,500 per month, will be given to among others career soldiers, doctors, teachers, and engineers, with those who move to Mitzpeh Ramon, Arad, and Yeruham receiving the full amount.

Edri presented his ministry's budget, demanding that it hold steady at NIS 235 million. The budget includes a NIS 150 million allotment for implementing development plans for the Negev as well as NIS 30 million to for Haifa and the North. Edri said the ministry would place extra emphasis on the construction of a large IDF training base near the Ramat Hovav industrial zone in the Negev, and added that negotiations are currently underway with the treasury over funding for railroad tracks in the Negev.

Edri said the budget would advance the existing development plan for the Negev, as well as be used to fund the formulation of a similar plan for the Galilee.

Kadima MK Eli Aflalo threatened to vote against the budget, unless the ministry decides to restore funding for the construction of a rail line between central Israel and the Afula area.