Israel approves ‘unprecedented’ $160m development plan for Beit Shemesh

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, August 1, 2021. Abir Sultan/Pool via REUTERS – Israel’s cabinet on Sunday approved a NIS 500 million ($160.9 million) multi-year development plan for the city of Beit Shemesh, according to an official statement.

The plan, presented by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Gideon Saar, includes 300 million shekels ($96.5 million) for public transport, 82 million shekels ($26.4 million) for “public institutions and infrastructure expansion” and some NIS 50 million ($16.1 million). million) to “strengthen the municipality” for the purpose of providing services to residents, according to the statement. Other main objectives are the strengthening of vocational training and social services, the improvement of personal safety and public health, as well as culture and leisure activities.

“The city of Beit Shemesh is a wonderful place with excellent people, facing many challenges. Together with local leaders led by Mayor Dr. Aliza Bloch, we are promoting a program of unprecedented scale that will improve the quality of life in the city,” said Bennett.

Mayor Bloch thanked Bennett saying, “For years they talked; the Bennett government is taking action and making changes. The history of Beit Shemesh is the history of the State of Israel.

According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, the city’s population has grown by around 63% over the past decade (adding some 50,000 residents) – the highest growth rate among the 15 largest cities in the world. country. The trend should continue.

This massive growth has led to gaps in infrastructure development, which this plan aims to fill.

“Today’s government decision allocates unprecedented budgets that are designed to significantly improve the quality of life for residents of Beit Shemesh,” the statement concluded.

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