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World Bank Loans Israel $30 Million for Highway Expansion

The World Bank announced today a $30 million 20-year loan to Israel for highway building programs. The loan will finance most of the foreign exchange costs of Israel’s recently announced five year program of highway expansion estimated to cost $91.3 million. The Hank’s loan will be for the construction and improvement of 75 miles of Israel’s 5642 mile long road network. The Bank spokesman labeled the additional capacity “necessary to meet the increasing demands of a growing economy.” Interest charges are 71/4 percent. The funds will be used for the Ayalon Expressway in Tel Aviv; the Danot-Lod-Ramleh Highway; three sections of the four land divided highway in the Belt Dagan, Ramleh and Rishon Le Zion areas; and for four interchanges on the Tel Aviv-Haifa route.

The Bank spokesman said most of the roads were concentrated “in and around the capital, Tel Aviv.” The United States, which supplies about 40 percent of the Bank’s operating capital, has been careful to avoid controversial projects or to recognize Israeli changes in the status of Jerusalem.

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