JERUSALEM (Dec. 2)
The Jewish National Fund provides Israel each year with an additional 30,000 dunams of land for agriculture and a further 20,000 dunams of sapling forests. This was one of the statistics cited by JNF chairman Moshe Rivlin in a survey of the JNF’s activities since the last World Zionist Congress five years ago.
Rivlin, who presented a report an JNF activities to the World Zionist Organization Executive, stressed that the Negev is perhaps the JNF’s main challenge in its primary task of providing more useful and usable land for the state. The JNF, Rivlin pointed out, had added tens of thousands of acres of farmland and forests to the Negev over the five-year period under survey. It also planted some 250 kilometers of wind breaker trees in the Negev.
Rivlin focussed on the JNF’s road-building work the new Pithat Shalom settlement area near the Sinai border to which several former north Sinai settlements have been moved. He said the JNF also played a key role in the creation of the string of “mitzpim” (hilltop settlements) in Galilee, building roads to the sites, and preparing the land and infrastructure in these virgin areas. He emphasized that wherever necessary, the JNF works with landscape architects to avoid or to minimize damage to scenery from development work.
Raanan Weitz, co-chairman of the WZO settlement department, praised the JNF for its massive efforts, in close cooperation with his department, in preparing the groundwork for new settlements.