The IDF is poised to launch the first phase
of its move out of greater Tel Aviv. It’s a move that, when completed, would
eventually see almost all bases and complexes move to the South, North, and
around the Center of the country.
When complete, some 1,100 hectares
(2,718 acres) will be vacated, enabling the construction of 100,000 housing
units and 2.5 million sq.m. of commercial or industrial buildings, “if
bureaucracy permits,” an army source told The Jerusalem Post on
The first stage of the program (known by its Hebrew acronym,
Shoham), will see the clearance of 42 hectares from the sprawling Tzrifin base
near Rishon Lezion, about 1 hectare from IDF General Headquarters (the Kirya) in
Tel Aviv (currently housing Military Police and medical clinics), and a small
base in Haifa’s downtown area.
Plans are already in place, pending
approval from local government, to construct an 80-floor residential and
business tower in place of the approximately 1 hectare that is to be cleared
from military General Headquarters in Tel Aviv.
“We can start vacating
these places immediately,” the source stated, adding that dates have been set
for the relocation.
“In 2016, we’ll start vacating buildings with four or
more floors from General Headquarters in Tel Aviv, and moving those units to the
South,” the source said.
In the future, areas of Tzrifin used to
construct Merkava tanks are to move the Carmel region in the North, and,
according to initial plans, the IDF’s Technological Branch is to move to
Modi’in. Other areas of Tzrifin are likely to be relocated to nearby Be’er
British-mandate era army camps, like Kfar Syrkin, near Petah
Tikva, are slated to move out of the Center, while the security complex at
Glilot is likely to be relocated to the Negev.
Once vacated, sale of the
land is expected to earn the state some NIS 90 billion, half of which is to go
directly to the Treasury.
Some of the remaining cash is to be diverted to
the clearance of 14 old logistics and supply bases across Israel, merging them
into three new modern bases.
Currently, the IDF is constructing its “City
of Training Bases” in the Negev, as well as two large military campuses for the
C4i Corps and the Intelligence Corps.