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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Cornerstone-Laying for the Community of Ofir, named after the Late Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council Chairman Ofir Leibstein: "We will rebuild and expand the communities, and we will add more communities." 


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Wednesday, 29 November 2023), laid the cornerstone of the community of Ofir, in memory of the late Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council Chairman Ofir Leibstein. Those attending the emotional event, together with Construction and Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf and local council heads from the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, praised the courage of the late Ofir Leibstein and noted his heroic fight, together with his late son Nitzan, in battles against Hamas terrorists at Kibbutz Kfar Aza on Saturday October 7th

Prime Minister Netanyahu to the local council heads from the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip [translated from Hebrew]: 

"All of you endured very difficult days here. Friends were murdered. Leaders were murdered – men and women who fought, soldiers and police officers. It is simply unbelievable what happened here on the day of this ultimate test. The people of Israel hold onto our land by the fingernails, repelled the murderers, the monsters, and now we are in the midst of action that will continue to its end. 

We established a state, an army, communities and cities. We welcomed immigrants, but the battle continues as it has for 100 years and more. It most definitely continued here on that terrible day and we will overcome them. 

This construction expresses what we are now doing. Several months ago, we decided to establish a new community and called it 'Hanun' and today we are changing its name to 'Ofir' after the late Ofir Leibstein, a leader, a man of the Land of Israel, a builder and a man engaged in settling the land. Here children will grow up and be educated about his contribution, heroism and sacrifice. 

We will continue to build, not one community but communities, here in this place. We will build and we will continue to build, here and all throughout the Land of Israel. We will rebuild and expand the communities, and we will add more communities." 

Participating in the event were Sdot Negev Regional Council Chairman Tamir Idan, Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi, Merhavim Regional Council Chairman Shai Hajaj, Eshkol Regional Council Chairman Gadi Yarkoni, Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council Acting Chairman Yossi Keren and Hof Ashkelon Regional Council Chairman Itamar Revivo. Also in attendance were Tekuma Authority Director Moshe Edri, head of IDF Home Front Command Maj. -Gen. Rafi Milo, the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff Tzachi Braverman, the Prime Minister's Military Secretary, Maj.-Gen. Avi Gil, and Prime Minister's Office Director General Yossi Shelley. 

The cornerstone-laying for the community of Ofir is a direct continuation of the Government decision, by the Prime Minister and the Construction and Housing Minister on 5 February 2023, to establish a new community in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip to be called Hanun (which was defined as a provisional name).


Photo credit  Silvia G Golan   ( this is one of the last photo of  Ofir Leibstein - taken 2 days before the massacre )