Herodium historical site
City of David in east Jerusalem
Photo: Ron Peled
Minister Misezhnikov. Against the freeze
Photo: Knesset website

Ministry to invest millions in settlement tourism

Building freeze over? Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov plans to allot NIS 9 million for development, renovation of tourist sites in Jewish communities in West Bank

While the US administration continues to pressure Israel for an extended construction freeze in the West Bank there are those who are already thinking one step ahead. Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov is planning to allocate millions of shekels to the West Bank Jewish communities for the development of tourism sites.


An internal Tourism Ministry memo suggests that the project, which will also include east Jerusalem, will receive a budget of NIS 9 million ($2.42 million). Minister Misezhnikov, who is firmly against the construction freeze, wants to enable local authorities to develop tourism within their jurisdiction.


As part of the project, the Shomron Regional Council will receive NIS 300,000 (roughly $80,600) for various touristic ventures (signposting in the Reihan an Shaked forests), the Binyamin Regional Council will get NIS 100,000 (roughly $26,900) for signposting of tourist sites, the South Mount Hebron Regional Council will receive NIS 100,000 to develop the Susya historical site, the Karnei Shomron Regional Council will get a budget of NIS 100,000 to create bike lanes in the Nahal Kane Reserve and the Kiryat Arba Council will get a budget of NIS 40,000 for touristic planning.


Big bucks

Gush Etzion, the Jordan Valley and east Jerusalem will recieve the bigger budgets. The Tourism Ministry will allocate NIS 1.5 million ($400,000) for the renovation of the Herodium site in the Gush Etzion Regional Council; NIS 2 million ($ 540,000) for the Qasr al-Yahud baptism site in the Jordan Valley; and some NIS 5 million ($134,000) for project development in east Jerusalem, including NIS 2 million for the City of David, NIS 1.5 million for Zedekiah's Cave and NIS 1.5 million for infrastructure in the Old City.


Minister Misezhnikov sent a letter to Judea and Samaria council heads on Sunday explaining the project's Jewish-Zionist necessity. "The Tourism Ministry sees great importance in the development of tourism in Judea and Samaria which is the basis for 'any Jew's story' and is at the heart of the State of Israel," he wrote. "The historic heritage is a significant source of attraction for both domestic and overseas tourism."


The minister has instructed the council heads to approach the ministry's Infrastructure and Investment Director Shai Weiner for a written pledge of the promotion of the projects.



פרסום ראשון: 09.20.10, 16:22
 new comment
This will delete your current comment