With the IDF planning to auction off land in the center of the country that will soon be evacuated as bases move north for the construction of homes – and the government planning to sell no-longer-used areas where government-owned companies have closed facilities – some 100,000 new homes could soon be built in the Tel Aviv area. However, before that happens, the areas in question have to be “cleaned up” – and the government decided this week to dedicate tens of millions of shekels to that effort.
Much of the land being sold off was used for battle practice, or production of military equipment that entailed the use of chemicals and heavy metals. While not overly contaminated, much of the land does not meet standards for residential neighborhoods, and is considered too polluted for residences. In order to ensure that the land is usable, the government will embark on a cleanup process, with the costs to be eventually passed on to the bidders who win the auctions that will be held by the Israel Lands Administration.
According to Environmental Affairs Minister Avi Gabay, the move “is a very important one in solving the housing crisis. Our Ministry is taking on the role of the regulator and taking responsibility for the cleanup of these areas. With this project we will be able to improve the quality of life for many Israelis.”