Settlement Construction 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Israel Lands Authority (ILA) announced on Wednesday that it is planning to
evacuate five army bases in Gush Dan in the center of the country, and that some
of the land will be ready for residential projects within 18
According to ILA director Benzi Lieberman, the land will become
available after evacuation of IDF bases at Tzrifin, Tel Hashomer, Sirkin near
Petah Tikva, Mahaneh Haslishot at Ramat Gan and Horodetzki in
Lieberman made his announcement in a meeting of the State
Control Committee, which had convened in the wake of a state comptroller’s
report that strongly criticized the Defense Ministry’s financial and
organizational practices for evacuations.
During the meeting, committee
chairman Ronnie Bar-On (Kadima) slammed the ministry for evacuating the bases
too slowly. Bar-On said that since no dates were fixed to evacuate and clear the
bases for apartments, this didn’t seem to be an IDF priority.
criticized the IDF’s position that the evacuations were conditional on their
receiving the budget for transferring the bases to the Negev.
are indifferent to the state comptroller and have not internalized his
criticisms,” Bar-On said. “The government handled his report in a negligent
manner and the Defense Ministry’s conduct does not reflect its own commitments
Bar-On also blasted the Prime Minister’s Office for “not
bothering to turn up to the meeting, even though they were
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Lieberman said in the meeting that potential existed to create
100,000 housing units on IDF bases between Gedera and Hadera, and that the
government would sign a “historic agreement” in the next few days to evacuate
the five camps.
The ILA and the Defense Ministry would plan the
evacuations together due to the security considerations involved, Lieberman
He added that over the next few days, the ILA and the ministry
would begin to plan clearance of Mahane 80 near Pardess Hanna.
Ministry deputy director general Brig.-Gen. (res.) Bezalel Treiber said that
over the last two years, the country had returned around 65 army bases to the
state, including six within the last two months. Fifteen more camps will be
returned, he said.
Attorney Abraham Neeman raised the issue of evacuating
the Israel Air Force compound at Sde Dov in north Tel Aviv, which he noted is
located on valuable land and could accomodate 50,000 to 60,000 housing
Neeman quoted a recent conversation with former IAF commander
Dan Halutz, saying Halutz admitted that the IAF does not need
Sde Dov, but was reluctant to give it up.
Former Tel Aviv city planner
Israel Gudovich said that the nine kilometer strip of land was “most
Gudovich, who prepared a plan for 60,000 housing units on the
land, said that plan involved building several towers of 40 stories each, all
with apartments overlooking the sea. The program had also obtained consent from
green organizations, he said .
In response, Treiber said that the Sde Dov
military area is small and most of the plot is used for civilian
Lieberman noted that the Tel Aviv municipality is interested in
keeping Sde Dov Airport, so that local residents could use it for vacations to
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