The Israel Lands Administration transferred 120 hectares (297 acres) of land
from a private company to the Ariel Sharon Park Company over the weekend,
achieving a “green dream of Gush Dan,” the Environmental Protection Ministry
The ILA board and the company Hazera signed an agreement that by
the end of the year, Hazera will deliver custody of the park lands to the
government- owned park company, the ministry announced on Sunday evening. In
doing so, the ILA removed the main obstacle that had been delaying further
development of the park, and put an end to years of litigation between Hazera
and the state, the ministry said. The agreement will enable the completion of a
geographical network of open greenery surrounding the rehabilitated garbage
mountain, according to the ministry.
“Besides the geography continuity
that will be created between open spaces and the garbage mountain itself, which
is these days open to visitors, the areas that will be transmitted are a layer
of the central vision of development in the heart of the park,” said Esti
Appelbaum-Polani, chairman of Ariel Sharon Park, in a statement released by her
As part of this vision, the Ariel Sharon Park Company will bring
its total holdings to 300 out of the 800 hectares of land on the site, and will
construct an amphitheater for about 50,000 people, a large lake surrounded by a
boardwalk, recreation centers, a center for biodiversity and a bird-watching
station, Appelbaum-Polani said. The park will be for the benefit of around 2.5
million Gush Dan area residents, the company said.
“In the achievement of
the arrangement, there is a strategic importance that allows for the
preservation of open space in the park without building, thanks to the support
of the Environmental Protection Ministry and the Finance Ministry,” Appelbaum-
The transfer of the park to company hands was equally
important in the eyes of the Environmental Protection Ministry, and its
minister, Gilad Erdan, called the achievement a step toward “transforming Hiriya
into Israel’s ‘Central Park,’ which will benefit millions of citizens,” in a
statement released by his office.
“This is a national project and I will
continue to accompany it personally in order to remove every barrier and
bureaucratic obstacle and allow for the public to enjoy a green lung in the
heart of Gush Dan as soon as possible,” Erdan said.
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