The proposal by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to allocate the IDF NIS 750 million to maintain its readiness and training is based on a Ministry of Defense plan to hand over to the state thousands of dunam of land in high-demand areas after vacating the IDF bases on the sites. Defense sources said today that the proposal is that the money will come from the government's profits from the sale of the land.
The Ministry of Defense said today that the vacating of the bases was on schedule, on the basis of a plan approved two months ago. Under this plan the 36-dunam (eight-acre) Keren base in the Kirya (IDF headquarters) in Tel Aviv, will be handed over to the site. The base is already being vacated, and the process will be completed by the end of 2016. A station for the Tel Aviv light railway will be built on part of the site.
The plan also includes the vacating of 421 dunam (105.25 acres) in the Zerifin Base, near Rishon LeZion by the end of 2015, subject to obtaining building permits for the new IDF training base in the Negev to which many bases at Zerifin will be moved. Under the plan, together with the vacating of the bases, the Israel Land Authority will begin marketing the land and developing it.
The plan also calls for the vacating of a base on Mount Carmel Haifa. A new neighborhood can be built on the site.
Defense sources told "Globes" today that, in 2013, the IDF vacated 3,000 dunam (750 acres) near Rosh Ha'Ayin and 40 abandoned bases and outposts around the country. One of the bases vacated was the Vered Base in the Old City of Beersheva.
The bases at Tel Hashomer outside Tel Aviv will not be vacated during 2014. The IDF induction center is due to be moved to Lod, but the transfer has been delayed because of disputes between the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Transport over the construction of access roads to the new base.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 5, 2014
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