The Ministry of Construction and Housing, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Jewish National Fund (KKL) announced Tuesday a strategic plan for the development of communities in the Jordan Valley, and for the absorption of 10,000 new residents within a decade. The Jordan Valley is currently home to some 7,000 Israelis in the Jordan Valley Regional Council and the Maaleh Efraim Local Council.
As part of the plan, three new communities will be established and new neighborhoods will be added to existing ones; in addition, existing infrastructures will be developed, with an emphasis on improving public infrastructure.
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) said that "the strengthening of agriculture and settlement in the Jordan Valley is a government goal, and we will ensure that the valley remains settled. There is broad national consensus among all the parties regarding the settlement of the valley. "
Housing and Construction Minister Maj. Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant (Kulanu) said that "the Jordan Valley constitutes the eastern security belt for the State of Israel. Strong settlement in the Jordan Valley is a guarantee for the security of the residents of Israel. A hold on this part of the land has security and strategic significance of the first order. This is another step in our series of activities for developing and strengthening settlement in Israel.”
Jewish National Fund Chairman Daniel Atar said that "as part of the Jewish National Fund’s investment in outlying areas, we decided to promote large-scale projects in the Jordan Valley this year. After years when no funds were invested in the Jordan Valley and no new infrastructure was developed, our goal is to significantly increase the number of residents in communities.”
"The strength of a state is measured by the strength of its outlying towns, and therefore we at KKL are making every effort to strengthen the social and geographic periphery," Atar added.