New city, Harish, under development in North

The small community of Harish has recently appeared more distinctly on the map as housing fairgoers have seen garden apartments and duplexes being offered by builders at what seems bargain prices for Israel. On questioning, sales reps will tell you that this building project is in Harish, and hand you a boldly marked map since you likely don’t know where it is.

Harish was built in the 1990’s with the infrastructure and intent to prepare for a new city on the scale of Modi’in but a number factors put it on hold. Now the government has announced the full speed go ahead to build a new city.

According to Israel National News, the north-central Israeli community of Harish will be converted into a full-fledged city, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet voted Sunday, appropriating the project a 1 billion shekel budget.

Harish is accessible off of the toll Highway 6 to the North and is located 50 minutes northeast of Tel Aviv, 35 minutes from Haifa and 15 minutes from Hadera.

Harish is now a community of 300 households – but approximately 9,000 housing units are in stages of construction, having been sold on paper via builders in the last few years.

“About 2,000 additional housing units will be marketed as part of the ‘affordable housing’ campaign. In the first stage about 12,000 housing units will be built and in the following stages this will be expanded to approximately 24,000 units.”

In a statement to the Israeli Cabinet Netanyahu said, “A new city has not been established in many years,” he continued. “This will be a new city along the lines of Modi’in; it will be the beginnings of a city of 50,000 people. I believe that it will grow far beyond this in the future.”

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Gulf state Arabs buy land in Galilee

Wealthy Arab buyers have purchased thousands of dunam’s of agricultural land from private owners in the Galilee. The purchasers are from states that have no diplomatic relations or recognition of the state of Israel. Israel radio broadcast the news of the purchase Saturday on voice of Israel; a government run broadcast.

Privately owned property in Israel is able to be sold to the highest bidder as there is no restriction on who is able to buy a privately owned land.  Israeli farmers formed a coalition to seek to purchase the land themselves but were unable to exceed the bid of the Arab State buyers.

Recent changes in the law that were passed in the Israel lands Authority reform act brought about the opportunity for these Arab purchasers as was feared by those who oppose the passage of the bill. Kadima Knesset Member Nachman Shai spoke out against the same in a news release, saying “Israeli lands are being sold to the highest bidder,” just as expected and feared during the vote on land reform.