Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had a message for Israel’s enemies on Tuesday as he dedicated a new national cyber center and high-tech park in the southern city of Be’er Sheva.
“We need to see to [our] security. This is our first obligation, as well as mine as Prime Minister, and this is a challenge for us because the reality around is challenging,” Netanyahu began.
“In the end, our lives depend on an iron wall. We are building an iron wall, an Iron Dome, and we have an iron will,” he declared.
“These are the things that give us the strength to defend ourselves and also to tell those who would attack us: it is not worth your while. These are the fundamentals that protect the State of Israel. Everything else is happening here now.”
Regarding the new hi-tech park, Netanyahu declared:
“The world around us is changing quickly and the amount of knowledge is increasing geometrically. This knowledge has created new challenges but also new opportunities, and cyber [technology] is the greatest area that is happening here, and we are a force in it. We are bringing Israel's cybernetic strength here to Be'er Sheva."
The first building in the park will house several Israeli and international hi-tech firms, including ECI Telecom, NESS, Elbit and Deutsche Telekom.
The park includes 20 buildings on roughly 200,000 square meters of space. It is expected to create tens of thousands of new jobs in the Be’er Sheva region over the next several years, as part of the Israeli government's plan to develop Israel's Negev region, and was built near Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
The Negev spans 60% of the country's territory but is relatively undeveloped, and currently contains only approximately 8% of the total Israeli population. Developing the Negev, it is hoped, will provide many benefits to the country as a whole, including alleviating the housing crisis in central Israel, where around 70% of Israel's population is currently concentrated.
The national cyber center is to operate without the framework of both the park and the university. It will focus on boosting research and development and on attracting investors to the field of cyber technology.