The Defense Ministry and real estate company Shikun & Binui signed an agreement at a ceremony Monday to build an IDF intelligence center in the Negev. The agreement includes funding, planning and running the base for a period of 26 years.
The base is expected by 2028 to serve 12,000 soldiers and officers from intelligence and cyber units, as well as additional units.
"The IDF will continue to be a pioneer in making the Negev bloom and strengthening Israel society," said Defense Minister Benny Gantz. "The agreement we signed is additional proof that the IDF is an inseparable part of the nation, which it builds and from which it is built," he went on to say.
"The conditions on the base we will build and the means that will be invested in its infrastructure will upgrade the Military Intelligence Directorate's abilities," said Gantz who added that improvements will include improving public transportation from the center of Israel to the south, and providing aid to families who chose to move to the area by subsidizing housing and helping with employment opportunities.
"This is a project that is on a national scale," said Gantz, "and so the whole government is came together to support it in a government decision that passed two weeks ago.
"I have no doubt that we are planting the seeds for better intelligence capabilities, a stronger nation and a better economy in the future."
IDF chief of staff Aviv Kohavi also commented on the signing saying it "completes another part of the realization of the National vision and the IDF's vision on developing the Negev.
"We see in this a dual opportunity, to improve the abilities of the IDF and to strengthen the Negev. In the last decade, the IDF has sped up moving units to the south, and today, one third of those who serve in the IDF are in the Negev."