Ending years of negotiations between the government and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund, the organization's leaders and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon have signed off on an agreement that will see to the transfer of some NIS 2.2 billion from KKL-JNF to state coffers in 2016.
The funds will be directed toward a variety of national projects and environmental programs, the Environmental Protection Ministry said on Wednesday. In 2017, KKL-JNF will transfer an additional NIS 1b. to the state.
Under the agreement, government officials and KKL-JNF will operate a joint committee to approve the various projects receiving financing from the fund. "I am happy that we found a practical way to connect KKL-JNF to the development goals of the government," said Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay.
Outgoing KKL-JNF chairman Efi Stenzler meanwhile added that the agreement sends a "true social message for the citizens of Israel." The new funds, he said, will not only lead to environmental improvements, but also can bring about "a defining moment with regards to the performance of infrastructure development in the construction field and reduction of housing prices."