JERUSALEM (Aug. 2)
If Israel does not speed up carrying out an existing master plan for establishing a city in the Golan Heights, the population of the Golan as a whole will be slowed down, Meir Shamir. director of the Jewish National Fund Land Development Authority, warned earlier this week.
Saying the decision to erect the new city was a function of “means and policy,” Shamir told a press conference that it was high time to start with the infrastructure of the city which is to have some 30.000 people according to the master plan. According to the same plan, some 80,000 Jews are expected to settle in the Golan. At present there are only some 1500 there, some of them jobless because agriculture can only provide work for a limited number, approximately 20 percent of the population.
The JNF has completed since the Six-Day War with money collected in Israel, the afforestation of 42,000 dunams in the Golan, with 36.000 dunams still in the planning stage. The JNF is now starting to clear away the ruins of the Syrian city of Kuneitra to use it for agriculture.