Fence along southern border / illustrative
Fence along southern border / illustrative Israel news photo: Flash 90

People living in Israel's "deep south" will be the beneficiaries of new tax breaks beginning immediately, the government announced.

The new benefits, authorized Sunday at the weekly Cabinet meeting, will apply to residents living in the town of Sderot and other communities along the Gaza border area -- the region known as the "Gaza Belt."

Those who are eligible will receive a 20 percent break on their income tax for up to NIS 230,000 per year -- a salary of NIS 19,166 per month.

Home owners will also receive a discount of 30 percent on municipal property tax (arnona, in Hebrew). Business and factory owners will receive a 24 percent discount on the same tax.

The tax breaks are effective immediately and continue through December 31, 2012 at a total cost to the government of NIS 224 million.

Some of the towns are located less than a kilometer away from Gaza, where Palestinian Authority terrorists have been working daily to fire short-range Qassam rockets and mortar shells at their Jewish neighbors across the border.