Deri Launches NIS 10B Galilee Development Program

Sunset at the Kinneret, sea of Galilee. Northern Israel. October 12, 2015. Photo by Chen Leopold/flash90
Sunset at the Kinneret, sea of Galilee. (Chen Leopold/Flash90)

Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri on Monday announced a new NIS 10 billion ($2.62 billion) program over the next decade to help develop the Galilee. Rabbi Deri, who is also Minister of the Negev, Galilee, and Periphery, announced the deal at a meeting of staff of that ministry.

Among the highlights of the program will be the establishment of four institutions of higher education to advance technology education. Campuses will be built in Migdal Ha’emek, Katzrin, Kiryat Shmoneh, Afula, and Carmiel. That program alone will cost NIS 900 million. Another big-ticket project will be the establishment of a new medical center in the north, an NIS 850 million project. The location for that project has not yet been determined.

Money will be provided to seed the construction of new hotels and resorts, with the objective of increasing tourism in the region by 35 percent in the coming years. The government will spend NIS 750 million on that project. NIS 3 billion will be allocated for for direct assistance to local authorities, expansion of industrial zones, and incentives to attract companies to the region.

Farmers have not been forgotten either. NIS 600 million will be provided to assist farmers with new advanced equipment, and to expand agricultural tourism. Rabbi Deri said that the program “is aimed to reduce the gaps between the north and the center of the country, as well as the Negev, where substantial resources have been invested. The north suffers from a lack of investment and is in great need of government assistance to increase the number of jobs, encourage innovation, and enhance academic opportunities.”