Daily Israel Report

PM's Plan to Rehabilitate Arab-Crime Plagued City

Netanyahu will present a plan Sunday to help the city of Lod, which is suffering from largely-Arab violence and crime.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/28/2010, 9:51 PM

Israel News photo: Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will present the government with “a multi-system plan for strengthening and developing the city of Lod” on Sunday. The plan is being proposed as part of Netanyahu's decision to set aside 130 million shekels to try and improve the dire state of the mixed Jewish-Arab city. After a string of murders in the city, Netanyahu toured Lod along with the Minister of Public Security Yitzchak Aharonovich and vowed that "Lod will not become the Wild West."

The plan aims to strengthen Lod's security, improve its economic independence, create an infrastructure for development of the city, curb illegal construction and attract new residents.
 
Ten million shekels will be set aside for law enforcement in the city in 2010-2011. This includes collection of illegal weapons and beefing up police activity in the city. Surveillance cameras will be placed throughout the city and a central command center will be established.
 
Thirty million shekels will be set aside for renovating municipal infrastructures in the city center and developing existing infrastructures in other neighborhoods, as well as the marketing of new neighborhoods to attract new populations and enforce the law against illegal construction.
 
Twelve million shekels will go toward what is termed a 'regulation' of illegal construction in the neighborhood of Pardes Snir. The term usually refers to solutions that involve retroactive legalization of some structures. 
 
About sixty million shekels will go to projects that will improve the flow of traffic into the city and road safety. 
 
The welfare services in the city will receive another 4 million shekels and Arabic-speaking social workers will be added to the staff. Three million shekels will go into “informal education” facilities in the Arab neighborhoods and ten million shekels will be invested in the city's sport facilities. 
 
Lod is home to a young, idealistic group of Orthodox couples who moved there together in recent years to try to improve education in the crime ridden city.