Binyamin Netanyahu during cabinet meeting March 17th 2019
Binyamin Netanyahu during cabinet meeting March 17th 2019 Marc Israel Sellem

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his cabinet held a special meeting in Eilat Sunday, during which he unveiled a 500 million shekel ($143 million) spending plan for the southern port city, and touted the benefits of seafood.

“With great vision, we have advanced from the wilderness and created a beautiful city. Today, we are going to take a very great step and jumpstart it into the future. We have discussed this for several good years and to my joy, assisted by all of the government ministers here, we are moving forward with a plan worth over NIS 500 million for immediate development. These are not promises; this is immediate money,” said Netanyahu during the meeting Sunday.

Netanyahu said the plan would upgrade the city’s health services and infrastructure, but would also help Eilat develop its fishing industry, which the Prime Minister said would become an increasingly important part of the food industry as a whole.

“The first thing that we are dealing with is, first of all, health services. We are going to upgrade them with over NIS 150 million. We will upgrade the transportation infrastructure. We will establish tourist centers and we will make the coastal strip accessible to the public and improve it.”

“Perhaps the most important thing that we are going to establish here is a park to develop food from the sea. This is the food of the future. We cannot continue feeding humanity with protein from the land. It is expensive. It is inefficient. It pollutes and it is difficult. It will certainly remain but the protein of the future will be synthetic protein. However, that will take time until we know if it can exist. What certainly exists is the ability to take small fish that – in the sea – turn into big fish. This is the food technology of tomorrow – and it is already here.”

“There are two companies here in Eilat. We are going to form a concern and establish a center here that will provide Eilat with an extraordinary future. I want to turn Eilat into a center of knowledge and sea-based food technology.”

The spending plan, which was promised as a form of compensation to the residents of Eilat following the closure of the old Eilat airport as well as the Sde Dov airport in Tel Aviv – which had been used to link Tel Aviv to the southern port city – also includes a program to promote increased air traffic to Eilat, thus reducing costs of air travel.

“We are doing all of this while paying attention to the question of transportation. We are committed to resolving this. Today we will establish a team to evaluate the entry of international companies to operate internal flights to Eilat. This means an immediate lowering of prices. This is great news for the development of competition, increasing tourism and flights to Eilat, and lowering prices.”

Netanyahu also promised a train line connecting Eilat to central Israel.

“And there is another thing – we are going to continue to move forward on the planning for a railway line from the center of the country to Eilat. This vision will also be realized. Eilat has a bright future. All Israelis share in the desire to see this future arrive as quickly as quickly as possible. Because of this, we are here.”

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