By Dror Halavy
YERUSHALAYIM – The IDF is in the midst of a major move, with the large majority of administrative, educational, and organizational projects currently located in the Tel Aviv area to be moved to the Negev. Now, for the first time, the Finance Ministry has revealed how much that move will cost – NIS 24.5 billion ($6.35 billion).
The money will go towards the construction of bases for the various services, and the development of a high speed data network to serve the cybersecurity services that will operate from the Negev. In addition, money will be set aside for the construction of homes for senior soldiers and reserve soldiers who wish to move to the Negev, instead of commuting from their current homes.
The full transfer of operations will not occur overnight – and indeed, will not be complete until the year 2043, according to the Ministry. Current forecasts had called for the entire transfer of services and bases to be completed in about half that time.
Among the projects to be built in the Beer Sheva area will be the new headquarters of the central command, the IDF recruitment center, and other facilities. Also receiving their own funding will be plans to raise salaries for soldiers and to fund pensions for officers who decide to retire.