The Dead Sea 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The state will spend NIS 845 million over the next five years to rehabilitate
the Dead Sea, the Tourism Ministry said on Monday.
According to the
ministry, the sum was agree upon during a meeting of Finance, Tourism,
Environmental Protection, and Energy and Water Ministry officials on Sunday
night. NIS 725m. will come from the Tourism Ministry and the rest from the
The plan will include renovations to tourist
infrastructure at the Hamei Zohar and Ein Bokek areas, as well as a number of
locations that have been damaged by rising water in the Dead Sea’s southern
basin in recent years (the largely disconnected northern basin is shrinking).
The Tourism Ministry said that the work will also include rehabilitating the
parks and nature areas that have been hurt by the changes in the level of the
The Tourism Ministry said it is to present a proposal for the
rehabilitation projects within 60 days, and the cabinet will then decide whether
to approve the budget for the project.
Early last month, the cabinet
approved an agreement reached between the Finance Ministry and Israel Chemicals
Ltd. that stipulates the division of costs toward a full salt harvest of the
Dead Sea’s southern basin, as part of its rehabilitation.
agreement, Israel Chemicals unit Dead Sea Works will provide NIS 3.04 billion –
80 percent of the cost of the project.
The state will fund the remaining
NIS 760m., of which NIS 337m. is its share of the current value of a $30m.
dividend it withdrew in 1992 to finance the sea’s protection. The state’s share
of potash sales will rise from 5% to 10%, with the additional royalties to be
designated for a Dead Sea rehabilitation fund.
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and some politicians slammed the cabinet’s decision to approve the agreement,
saying that the state should get a much higher share of the
royalties.Nadav Shemer and Sharon Udasin contributed to this report.
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