Beachfront Saved from Private Developer's Claws

Planning Committee decided Monday that the famous Palmachim Beach shall continue to remain the secluded, natural area it has always been.

Hillel Fendel,

Palmachim Beach
Palmachim Beach
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Central District Planning Committee decided Monday that the famous Palmachim Beach shall continue to remain the secluded, natural area it has always been – and not be bulldozed and concretized into a 350-room holiday resort.

Located midway between Tel Aviv and Ashdod, the site has been the subject of bureaucratic battles for several years. Four years ago, the holiday village received approval – but due to widespread popular protests, the government returned the issue to the public planning committee. The committee has now reversed the original decision, and the beach will be declared a national park.

The "Man, Nature and Law" environmental organization responded with joy: "The success of this struggle proves that public involvement guarantees environmental protection."

The rebuffed developer, Pini Malka, has threatened that the compensation he will demand will be in the "hundreds of millions" of shekels.

The green organizations leading the struggle against the resort claimed that Israel is short on beachfront, and that the remaining sea shore actually belongs to the public and should not be sold for the private use of just a few. Palmachim, in fact, is one of the few beachfronts that have remained in their natural form, and the environmentalists insisted that it be preserved for future generations.

Judge Yaakov Sheinman of the Central District Court rejected, nearly a year ago, the developer's last appeal, and ruled that the Planning Committee must be permitted to have the final say on the matter – which it has now expressed.

Interior Minister Gilad Erdan is credited with having done much towards today's decision; he fought valiantly against the hotel project when he served as Environment Minister in the previous government.




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