In an urgent call,
the finance committee of the Knesset will meet tomorrow (Sunday) for an urgent discussion on the expected shortage of raw materials for construction, which, according to the committee, "will affect prices and the rate of construction in Israel."
The discussion, led by members of Knesset Yanon Azoulai, Yosef Atauna and others, is taking place against the background of the decision made last week by the national council, which rejected the plan to expand the "Golani" quarry in the north, one of the largest quarries in Israel that produces 4-5 million tons per year.
"While the state is engaged in leading broad programs to increase the supply of apartments and real estate, it has been neglecting for three decades the root of the problem - a growing shortage of raw materials for construction," notes Oren Harambam, director of the Construction and Consumer Products Industries Association of the Manufacturers Association.
"According to the CBS data, gravel prices have increased by 65% since 2010, and by 17% in the last two years" (Photo: ShutterStock)
Furthermore, Oren adds that "according to the CBS data, gravel prices have risen by 65% since 2010, and by 17% in the last two years.
Considering that the gravel is a significant component in the production of concrete used for construction and infrastructure, this has an effect on the increase in apartment prices and the increase in the cost of building infrastructure.
If the shortage worsens, there will be delays in the completion of housing and infrastructure projects."
The construction industry in Israel emphasizes that the heavy shortage is a direct result of legislation from 1993, the Mandatory Tendering Law for the Israeli Quarry Industry.
According to Oren Harambam, the law's incompatibility with the nature of the industry and the raw materials used in it , led to failure in issuing tenders for new quarries, and difficulty in operating existing quarries. "In practice, from the introduction of the law until today, not a single quarry has been planned or opened," he says.
"The State of Israel will develop an economic-strategic dependence on a very basic raw material"
In fact, an immediate call to address the severe shortage of raw materials and mark it as a factor endangering the implementation of construction and infrastructure projects, was raised already in 2020, in a report prepared by the State Comptroller. According to the report, the State of Israel has not qualified an appropriate
amount of quarries and quarrying sites during the past decades , and this will lead to the fact that by 2040 the shortage of raw materials in Israel is expected to be about 670 million tons. For the State of Israel to develop a strategic economic dependence, in the most basic raw material," notes the Rambam.
The manufacturers' association is expected to come up with a series of recommendations to deal with the issue as part of the discussion in the finance committee, including changing the policy regime regarding mining and quarrying, changing the law on the obligation to tender from three decades ago, and more.