Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galil Aryeh Deri announced on Monday a plan to invest 20 million shekels in development of religious sites in Israel’s north.
The initiative has a dual aim: to preserve Jewish heritage and to promote economic growth.
The ministry said in a statement that the funds will go into “building new tourist routes and developing tourism infrastructure and historic and religious sites, and in constructing tourism facilities in local authorities that have in their jurisdictions religious tourism sites of all religions in the Galil.”
Deri himself added, “We are proud of our heritage. There are millions of Israelis and Jews [from abroad] who customarily daven at the tombs of sages at least once a year. The plan will create attractions for tourists and jobs for Galil residents.”
Deri landed the Negev and Galilee development portfolio with an extra budget of NIS 300 million. Up to now, the ministry’s annual budget has been NIS 150–190 million.