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Lookout point on Mount Bental, overlooking the border with Syria, in the Golan Heights

Israel Approves Plans for Golan Heights, Will Build Two New Towns

The Israeli government approved a NIS 1 billion plan to develop the Golan Heights that will at least double its Jewish population and allow for the creation of two new towns in the region.

“We are making history in the Golan,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted in advance of the vote, which took place at a special meeting at Kibbutz Mevo Hamma in the Golan Heights. At the start of the visit, Bennett said: “Friends, this is our moment; this is the moment for the Golan Heights.”

“A combination of circumstances has led us today to a dramatic government decision to channel considerable resources, around NIS 1b., to strengthen communities on the Golan Heights,” he said. “First, it must be said, the Golan Heights are Israeli; this is self-evident,” he added.

The goal of the development plan is to double the population on the Golan within five years, including through the construction of two new neighborhoods in the town of Katzrin and the creation of two new towns already named Asif and Matar, Bennett said.

The plan calls for a NIS 576m. investment in housing to allow for 23,000 new Golan residents. This would include the construction of 7,300 new units of which 3,300 would be in Katzrin and the remainder in the communities under the Golan Regional Council. This includes 18 moshavim, 10 kibbutzim and four towns.

Another 4,000 units would be built in the two planned new towns, Asif and Matar. The plan also calls for NIS 160 million for transportation systems and healthcare facilities. It will also invest in education and the Odem Plan for technological-security leadership in Katzrin. Another NIS 162m. will be allocated for regional economic development, including tourism. Some 2,000 jobs will be created in agritech, hotels, agriculture and commercial sectors, according to the government.

The Golan Heights will become the “renewal energy capital,” the government said in summary notes of the meeting. This will include investments in solar projects as well as agri-voltaic projects and research across 200 hectares.

In addition, changes in the way people in the 21st century work allow for those who work virtually to consider living in places such as the Golan, Bennett told the ministers.

Bennett emphasized that a decision taken by this government to strengthen the Golan was a sign of how much Israeli sovereignty there was a matter of national consensus, given that his coalition represented a broad cross section of Israeli society. (JPost / VFI News)

Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. And they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly. - Genesis 47:27

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