A historic roof agreement is due to be signed in Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel today, the cost of which could reach NIS 800 million. This is the first roof agreement in an Israeli Arab town.
According to the information provided by the Israel Land Authority, some 15,000 housing units will be added to the town under the agreement, on seven sites, on state and private land.
Some 5,300 homes will be sold on state land, and the rest on privately-owned land. "The extra investment in infrastructure will total some NIS 800 million. Together with approval of the roof agreement, pre-finance of NIS 35 million was approved for planning and constructing infrastructure," the Israel Land Authority said in its announcement.
The infrastructure work will include construction of access roads, including a bridge over Road 65, and widening of existing roads, costing NIS 112 million. Among other infrastructure work will be drains, cycle paths, a road and promenade north of Road 6535, investment in open public areas, debris removal, and an acoustic wall.
In a recent interview with "Globes", Umm al-Fahm mayor Dr. Samir Sobhi Mahamid talked of a connection between the housing shortage in Arab settlements and the plague of violence in Israeli-Arab society. "If we're talking about violence, it's not infrequently a matter of disputes between relatives, brothers or cousins, quarreling over land for housing. If we can offer our young people homes, and also the possibility of obtaining mortgages, which are currently unavailable, that will be a springboard, and it will give hope, a horizon. It will give personal security and reduce the level of violence."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 13, 2021
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