Nahal Yam, a para-military settlement on the northern Sinai coast mid-way between El Arish and the Suez Canal, will be abandoned in favor of a civilian fishing village, the Jewish Agency settlement department announced today. The announcement raised immediate speculation that the region was being excluded from Israel’s future borders. Questions to that effect drew an angry response from Minister-Without-Portfolio Israel Galili chairman of the Cabinet’s settlement committee, who claimed that economic factors alone prompted the decision.
A spokesman for the Jewish Agency, said the decision to abandon the settlement grew out of its failure to develop a profitable fishing industry. He said the Nahal youngsters worked only eight hours a day and averaged 30 tons of fish per annum, about 1.5 percent of the potential catch in Lake Bardawill where the settlement is located. The settlers claimed, however, that they were not given the same support received by other settlements in the administered territories. Nahal Yam, established in 1968, was one of the first settlements outside Israel’s borders after the Six-Day War.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.