Palmahim vacation village plan to be scrapped

The cabinet approved on Sunday a proposed decision putforward by Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) to send thePalmahim vacation village plan back to the district planning committee forrezoning as a nature reserve and open public space.

Erdan ordered the Nature and Parks Authority to prepare thealternate zoning plan.
The 350 unit vacation village plan was approved in 2000but quickly came under fire from a variety of sources, culminating in acomptroller's report on the subject last year.

"The government took an historic decision today whichgives precedence to the public interest and corrected past mistakes at thepublic's expense.

"Israel's beaches are a scarce resource and we must doeverything we can to preserve open and egalitarian access to the public,"Erdan said in a statement.

Tourism Minister Stas Mezehinikov (Israel Beiteinu) hadobjected to the cancelling of the plan last Sunday but came around during theintervening week. Ehud Zion Waldoks