The mayor of Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel welcomes development in the region, but is asking that the government not give preference to the area if it means depriving those elsewhere.
Mayor Nissim Malka told Arutz Sheva that the cities in northern Israel have benefited significantly from government projects over the past several years.
“I believe in looking at facts, not just words. But it must be admitted that many things have been done in northern Israel that we wouldn’t have imagined five years ago,” he said.
“Faster highways have been opened, like the four-lane road from Amiad Junction to Kiryat Shmona… Once it took three and a half hours to travel to Tel Aviv, today, two hours,” he related.
However, he said, despite his appreciation, he rejects calls by some ministers to focus on developing the Negev and Galilee, in Israel’s south and north, in place of developing communities in Judea and Samaria (Shomron).
“I support them giving to every population in the state of Israel, wherever they live,” Malka declared. “I respect those who live in Judea and Samaria, good for them.”
“Everyone needs to receive [government development], including those in Judea and Samaria, and of course those in the north as well,” he stated.
Regarding plans for the future, Malka expressed strong support for calls to extend the train line north to his city. “Of course if the train comes here, we can bring more people. It would also make it worthwhile for industry to come here, and for young families who work in the Krayot [north of Haifa] or in Tel Aviv,” he said.
The initiative to build a university in Tel Chai is important as well, he said.
“I assume that all this will take a lot more time. But things are taking the right direction,” he concluded.