Photo Credit:
Hills in the northern Negev

Israel plans to build a new haredi religious city in the Negev for up to 80,000 residents in some 15,000 housing units.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Housing and Construction Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf together with the Israel Land Authority and the National Planning Headquarters.


The new city, to be called “Taleh,” will be built in the Bnei Shimon Regional Council district and will span an area of about 4,000 dunams.

The city is to be designated for a haredi religious population.

According to Interior and Health Minister Moshe Arbel, the recently-published State Comptroller’s report indicated “huge gaps” in the planning and construction of housing units for the haredi religious population.

“The establishment of the Taleh community is significant news that will help reduce these gaps,” Arbel said.

“We are determined to solve the crisis, increase the supply of apartments for the entire population and make sure that there will be no families without a roof over their heads.

“Together with the Ministry of Construction and its head, we will continue to increase the scope of planning and marketing of housing units throughout the country for the benefit of all Israeli citizens, to increase supply and reduce prices,” he added.

“The citizens of Israel are witnessing an unprecedented development boom with the establishment of settlements throughout the country,” Goldknopf said in a statement.

“Besides the great contribution to further lowering housing prices by increasing the supply, we are making an historic correction as part of the lessons learned from the State Comptroller’s report which stated the haredi religious population is failing in the issue of housing.

“Today, many young couples — including parents of toddlers — live in substandard housing units. The new cities are an opportunity for them to find decent and affordable housing,” the minister said.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.