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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘construction’

One Third of Public Complaints to Israel’s Ombudsman ‘Justified’

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Retired Judge Joseph Shapira, who serves as both State Comptroller and Ombudsman, on Monday submitted his annual Report to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

Edelstein noted that the number of public complaints filed with the Ombudsman’s office last year – 15,000, marks an increase from 2014.

“This is a positive statistic which shows that the citizens are fighting bureaucracy and foolishness, but it also shows that there are many more issues which must be dealt with, particularly when a third of the complaints were found to be justified,” said the Knesset speaker.

“The complaints were handled in a professional, thorough and fair manner, and perhaps this will motivate citizens to file more complaints,” Edelstein added, saying, “I am certain that the people in the State Comptroller’s Office, whom I thank for their dedicated work, will provide the appropriate professional service wherever necessary.”

State Comptroller Shapira said in response that “it’s important that the public is showing concern and is not willing to ignore [violations]. There are companies where the percentage of justified complaints was [very high]. At the Israel Postal Company, for instance, some 69 percent of the complaints were found to be justified. It is [gratifying] to see that the public is taking this matter seriously. It contributes to a better society.”

Besides the postal service, the government bodies with the highest number of justified complaints were: Ministry of Transport and Road Safety – 52%, Broadcast Authority – 48%, the IDF – 44%, Israel Electric Company – 41%, and Ministry of Education – 40%.

Government agencies with 100 complaints or more in 2015 were: National Insurance Institute (Israel’s Social Security agency), The Israel Postal Company Ltd., Israel Police, Ministry of Economy and Industry, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Transport and Road Safety, Ministry of Housing and Construction, and Israel Tax Authority.

Shapira said that in 2015 he issued 20 orders which legally protect citizens who expose corruption, 15 temporary and 5 permanent. “This is above the average [number of orders],” he noted.

2015 saw an increase of 25% of complaints filed online.

State Control Committee Chairperson MK Karin Elharrar (Yesh Atid) said the report indicates that the complaints filed with the Ombudsman’s Office relate to the daily affairs of the country’s citizens. “I call on all the government offices to [work together] so that corruption will gradually subside,” she said.

The principal function of Israel’s state comptroller is to review the legality, regularity, efficiency, economy, and ethical conduct of public institutions. The reviews are performed by ongoing as well as spot inspections of the financial accounts and activities of all ministries, the armed forces and security services, local government agencies, and any corporations, enterprises, or organizations subsidized or managed by the state to any extent.

By law, the State Comptroller also functions as Ombudsman to whom members of the public may send complaints about actions by governmental bodies that have caused them harm.


Turkey’s President Erdogan ‘Waiting for Israel’ to Respond on Gaza

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is waiting for Israel to grant permission for Turkey to construct energy and water transfer infrastructure in Gaza, according to a report published Saturday (May 21) in the Hurriyet Daily News, quoting an earlier broadcast.

“I expect that something will happen this month. It’s my wish that we’ll reach a conclusion in a short time,” Erdogan told a news broadcast by A Haber on May 19.

“In regards to [lifting] the embargo, they say, ‘We are open to allowing goods into Gaza through Turkey, but we are not open to those coming from places other than Turkey.’ But the problem is not only this. We have some other demands,” Erdogan said.

The Turkish leader said Ankara has demanded that Israel allow provision of continuous energy to Gaza, “as the enclave has only three to four hours of electricity per day,” Erdogan said.

He added that Turkey’s proposal to provide electricity to Gaza through a naval vessel was rejected by Israel.

“But they proposed something else: We told them that we are ready to construct all the infrastructure [of energy]. They viewed the proposal positively,” Erdogan said.

The second demand, he said, was that Turkey be allowed to provide water to Gaza either by desalinating the sea water or by drilling wells. “There are positive developments with regard to this issue as well,” he said.

Turkey’s third demand from Israel, said Erdogan, was regarding construction projects in Gaza.

“Our third offer is about building schools and hospitals. The construction of a hospital has been completed and necessary equipment is being provided. ‘These must be done,’ we told them. ‘If these would be done, then we’ll immediately appoint ambassadors and improve our relations in the right direction.’”

According to the report, Israeli and Turkish diplomats are expected to meet in the near future to finalize an agreement between the two countries.

But it’s impossible to know what the final outcome will be: Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party is set to meet at a nationwide Congress on May 22 to choose a new prime minister.

Incumbent Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, hand-picked by Erdogan, resigned his position earlier this month.

Hana Levi Julian

New American-Style Community Underway in Ramat Givat Zeev

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Rav Bezalel Rudinsky, rabbi of Congregation Ahavas Yitzchok, and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Ohr Reuven and Yeshivas Darchei Noam of Monsey, has joined in the development of a brand-new, American-style community in Ramat Givat Zeev, located minutes from Jerusalem.

“The idea, bezras Hashem, is to help members of our community here in the States have everything that we have here but with the zechus of being in Eretz Yisrael, with a unique emphasis on building an all-inclusive community where everyone feels connected,” said Rav Rudinsky. While the community is still in the preliminary stages of construction and development, some 200 English-speaking families already have purchased private homes and luxury apartments in the neighborhood. Select apartments remain.

“The concept is basically to create a unified communal lifestyle in Eretz Yisrael,” Rav Rudinsky explained. “And for the families with younger children, to have in place an educational system similar to what we have in the U.S.” After fully functioning, the neighborhood will include an American-style yeshiva.

Under the planning and management of Chish Nofei Israel, Ramat Givat Zeev will be an upscale, Torani community built to include high standards of construction and infrastructure, only minutes outside of Jerusalem. The neighborhood will blend Torah living with modern recreational and commercial centers, complete with all necessary services and amenities, including schools, yeshivas, shuls, shops, and parks.

Ramat Givat Zeev is bound to be a magnificent, dream-come-true community for those looking to invest in a future in Eretz Yisrael.

Daniela Berkowitz

Grave Watching

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Some fifty Hareidi men stand in protest at a construction site in Gilo where ancient grave were found while digging.

They believe the bodies found are of Jews, and do not want them moved for the construction of new housing units that were planned for the site.

Photo of the Day

Israeli Ambitious Project Launching First New City in Decades: Harish

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) Israel will invest more than $250 million in turning the community of Harish into the first new city to be built since the 1990s, Israeli media reported Wednesday. According to a multi-year plan to be submitted to the Netanyahu cabinet at its next meeting, Harish will be defined as “a national priority community” for the next four years. A special hub will be established to serve the tens of thousands of new residents, and the Ministry of Construction and Housing will boost the size of the personnel assigned to the new project. Harish will be connected to the main transportation routes and will have a new transit system.

To get an idea of the sheer ambition of the new project: currently there are about 300 families living in Harish, and the plan calls for more than 50,000 residents there by 2020.

Harish is a municipality in the district of Haifa in Israel, located in northwestern Samaria, on a par with Hadera, just west of the “green line” where the northern belly of Judea and Samaria pushes in to about 15 miles in from the coast. It was founded in the 1980s as Kibbutz Harish, at an altitude of 330 feet above sea level, which makes for a refreshing breeze each afternoon. The kibbutz was abandoned in 1993, except for a Border Guard detachment that camped there. On the lands of the abandoned kibbutz the Housing Ministry established a new community, also named Harish, of about 300 dwelling units. The Ministry of Housing has invested heavily in the local infrastructure and in planning, but the development endeavor has failed. Most of the streets are empty, and the local population is weak.

The cabinet’s decision requires government offices to weigh Harish’s entitlements not based on its demographics at the beginning, but rather at the end of each year, greatly improving the new city’s ability to manage the absorption of new residents before they actually arrive.

Among other things, the plan calls for the establishment of 400 classrooms and day care centers; a new community service center; family health centers (MCHC); a crisis center that will include a police, fire and rescue station, as well as an emergency operating center; reinforcing social services to strengthen the community and dealing with the difficulties of transition; developing and promoting transportation access to Harish via connections with highways 444, 65 and 9, including interchanges and grade separations, and paving route 611; and developing and promoting public transport, including increasing bus routes to employment centers and adding a station on the railway.

Prices at this point are very attractive, according to commercials: around $200,000 for 4-room apartments with the kind of view of the Mediterranean that’ll make you cry in your Chardonnay on your terrace.


Under Construction

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Workers building a new neighborhood in the Ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Beitar Ilit in Gush Etzion.

Building Beitar Ilit

Building Beitar Ilit

Building Beitar Ilit

Nati Shohat/Flash90

Nati Shohat/Flash90

Photo of the Day

Har Nof Ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva Project Blocked by Religious-Zionist Residents

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

(JNi.media) An appeals sub-committee of the National Council for Planning and Construction last week cancelled plans to build an Ultra-Orthodox yeshiva in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, according to Makor Rishon.

A year ago, the Ateret Israel yeshiva submitted a plan for the construction of a 600-student campus on a lot at Hai Taieb Street, just outside the Jerusalem forest.

Neighborhood National Religious residents, led by Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein, objected to the project, claiming it would affect the character of the community, which also does not have the necessary infrastructure for such a large project.

In the past, when Adina Bar-Shalom, daughter of the late Rav Ovadia Yosef, wanted to build an Ultra-Orthodox college in Har Nof, local Ultra-Orthodox residents objected, claiming that such a large institution would burden the neighborhood’s infrastructure and cause traffic jams. They were joined by green groups that warned against potential damage to the Jerusalem forest.

This time around, local residents protested the fact that the yeshiva plan had been approved without debate at the local planning and construction committee. Instead, the project developers submitted their plan directly to the regional committee. That committee approved the project without hearing expert opinion, including that of Jerusalem city engineer Shlomo Eshkol, who has objected to the planned project.

The final rejection of the plan was received with great satisfaction in the neighborhood, although Rabbi Feuerstein stressed that “this is not a happy day for me, when a yeshiva was not permitted to build a home for itself. I am a rabbi and I want to increase Torah learning … But I believe that we rescued the neighborhood and the yeshiva from becoming mired in friction. The location did not fit, and we saved them and ourselves from bad, murky relations.”


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/har-nof-ultra-orthodox-yeshiva-project-blocked-by-religious-zionist-residents/2015/08/09/

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