Be'er Sheba Mayor Rubik Danilovich sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday urging him to resolve the ministerial tangle surrounding the transfer of IDF bases to the south soon as possible, and make an immediate decision on the matter.
"We are not looking to point fingers, but the IDF's planned move to the south is stuck! The issue is at a stalemate and requires your intervention, leadership and national responsibility as prime minister, to make an immediate decision," Danilovich wrote in his letter.
"This letter was written with the blood of my heart," the mayor added. "My difficult feelings express deep frustration and great sadness, in view of the inability to advance such an important national mission and carry out a governmental decision which is strategic and vital for the State of Israel."
In the letter, Danilovich recounted the last meeting he had with the prime minister, in which the subject came up: "At my request, we met a year ago at your office in the Defense Ministry headquarters. On that occasion, I brought to your attention that the transfer of IDF bases to the south is stuck, due to a harsh disagreement between the Finance and Defense Ministries. Your immediate intervention is necessary; I emphasized that during the same conversation."
The transfer of Intelligence Corps and Teleprocessing Unit bases to the south is meant to start in 2015 and go on for several years.
Danilovich added in his letter to the prime minister that "following my appeals to you in recent months and to relevant ministers, the defense and finance, I recently received their comments, which speak for themselves (I enclose their answers, although they added you as a recipient)."
"The IDF's move to the south is a national, change-generating project, which serves a national interest bigger and more important than any of us. There is no room for power struggles and arm-twisting. No one has the right to delay or thwart it. The fact that it is not executed deals a harsh blow to the State of Israel and the vision for the Negev's development."
Danilovich explained the consequences of postponing the move to the Negev: "Needless to say, there are serious implications for the postponement of the transfer of Intelligence Corps and Teleprocessing Unit bases, both in the context of the future of high tech companies, and for international companies that arrived at Beersheva's high-tech office park following government's announcement, and for employment in the Negev and the future settling of weak populations."
The Be'er Sheba mayor ended his letter with a plea: "I appeal to you personally and ask for your urgent intervention to discuss this issue with all relevant parties."
Last week, Ynet reported that the transfer of IDF bases to the south was delayed due to a dispute between the Finance and Defense Ministries. A tender for the establishment of a large Teleprocessing unit base in Be'er Sheva was supposed to be launched recently – however, the Defense Ministry claims that the Finance Ministry did not transfer the funds and therefore cannot begin the tender process.
MK Yariv Levin, head of the Knesset Committee, commented on the delay in the IDF's planned move to the south: "The move to the Negev is a social move of the utmost importance which is essential for the strengthening of the periphery. I call on the Finance Minister to immediately transfer the funds his office vowed to transfer, so that the process can be resumed without delay."