As part of the efforts to relieve Israel's housing crisis, a ceremony was held this week celebrating government approval to construct thousands of housing units in Ramat Beit Shemesh D and E.
The new agreement approves 17,000 new apartments and sets aside 530 dunams of land for businesses, companies, and hotels. In addition, the city will receive the budget necessary to construct infrastructure and improve the city's parks and public transportation.
Beit Shemesh is expected to double in size in the coming years, and the new construction will provide housing solutions for the haredi and general populations.
Participating in the ceremony were Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), Construction Minister Yoav Gallant (Kulanu), Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas), Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul, and Beit Shemesh Construction Head Moshe Montag, as well as several other mayors and public figures.
Currently, Beit Shemesh is home to 104,000 residents and 21,000 families. The new agreement will double the city's size, so it becomes one of Israel's largest cities and nearly as large as Be'er Sheva.
Beit Shemesh was first recognized as a city thirty years ago, and is currently Israel's fifteenth-largest city.
"This new plan will double Beit Shemesh's size. That's a huge accomplishment," Netanyahu said. "I see this city as becoming one of the largest cities in Israel. It's developing at a very fast rate, and it is home to haredi, secular, traditional, Ashkenazic, and Sephardic Jews, as well as to new immigrants.
"Beit Shemesh is the first city in which we are actively integrating the general population with the haredi population," Gallant said. "We are working together with the understanding that integration is essential. We are working to find what we have in common, not from a place of extremism and estrangement."Friday, April 07, 2017