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After 17 years: Atlit will return to being an independent local council - Walla! news

2021-10-14T20:27:26.642Z

The management of the Hof Hacarmel Regional Council decided to separate the settlement of Atlit, which was annexed to it in 2003. Asif Isaac, the head of the regional council leading the move, predicts that by 2023 Atlit will triple itself to 27,000 residents. The decision must be approved by the director general of the Ministry of the Interior and the Minister



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After 17 years: Atlit will return to being an independent local council

The management of the Hof Hacarmel Regional Council decided to separate the settlement of Atlit, which was annexed to it in 2003.

Asif Isaac, the head of the regional council leading the move, predicts that by 2023 Atlit will triple itself to 27,000 residents.

The decision must be approved by the director general of the Ministry of the Interior and the Minister

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  • Atlit

  • Carmel Beach

  • Ministry of Interior

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Thursday, 14 October 2021, 23:20 Updated: 23:25

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Management of the Hof Hacarmel Regional Council decided tonight (Thursday) to recommend to the plenum of the Council to approve the start of a process of separation from the town of Atlit, the end of which she will be the local council, as it was until 2003. The decision to go through the approval of the Interior Ministry and the Minister.



The settlement was defined as a local council for About 53 years, from 1950 until the great unification of the authorities in 2003. A recent survey by the Geocartography Institute shows that half (50.9%) of the residents of the regional council support separation compared to 17.6% who oppose it. - 44.6% said that they support or strongly support the separation from the regional council.



The process of annexing Atlit to the regional council 17 years ago added an urban locality to the council, most of which consists of kibbutzim and agricultural moshavim.

Atlit is the largest locality incorporated within a regional council, and today 28% of the residents of Hof Hacarmel live there.

According to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics from May 2021, the locality has 10,220 residents, more than twice the 4,500 residents who were there at the time of annexation.

The locality grows by about 1,000 residents per year, more than the number of residents in most of the other localities in the council.

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The majority support the separation.

Atlit (Photo: Walla !, Yoav Itiel)

The Center for Local Government in Israel recently conducted a study on the large semi-urban localities in the regional councils that it unites, among other things to examine the issue of the cost of services per resident, which is generally higher in them.

The center recommends changing the status of the locality to the self-employed when the number of residents exceeds 10,000, assuming that the regional council and the Ministry of the Interior approve the change, which will take place gradually.



Following the decision made tonight, a discussion of the plenum of the Hof Hacarmel Regional Council is expected to take place in the coming month, in parallel with a request from the Ministry of the Interior to appoint a geographical committee, which will formulate concrete recommendations for a move to separate Atlit.

The council hopes that it will start operating as early as next month and will submit its recommendations in February 2022, so that at the end of the approval process the Minister of the Interior will give her approval in April.

An interim move of independent management as a local council headed by a convened committee of the Interior Ministry will be launched six months later, in October 2022, for four years, during which democratic elections will be held.



Leading the move is Asif Isaac, head of the Hof Hacarmel Regional Council and a member of Kibbutz Hahotrim. Isaac predicts that by 2023 Atlit will triple itself to 27,000 residents - a population that is close to all the residents of Hof Hacarmel today, numbering 34,000. He believes that towards this goal it is better for the Yishuv leaders to engage in planning and development instead of an external regional council - even though the Yishuv has experienced political instability in the last three years, four heads of a local committee have been replaced.



"Atlit is actually a large 100-year-old community run by 11 volunteers. It doesn't make sense. We understood that something was wrong," Isaac describes. "We realized that we needed to rethink, and we began to transfer powers and responsibilities to the community, as part of the preparation for independence." Part of that responsibility was an unpopular move of imposing a tax to a local council, even though it all came back to funding the needs of the developing locality in recent years, particularly in reality under the Corona virus.

"We began to transfer powers to the locality, as part of the preparation for independence."

Assaf Isaac (Photo: Walla !, Yoav Itiel)

"Since the beginning of the Corona, many families, at least one of the couple working from home, have recalculated the route, and have come to the conclusion that it is time to make the dream come true," said Rinat Levy-Sukenik, a 42-year-old resident of Inbal, an industrial and management engineer.

"Whole neighborhoods of single-family homes, beautiful, well-built, well-designed, open to a small or large garden, a dog, a cat and full of children outside are playing in the public garden."

Levy-Sukenik is a native of Haifa who moved to Atlit 13 years ago as a bachelor for work reasons, and has since chosen to establish her home here and raise their four children together with Inbal.



Levy-Sukenik described the majority of the population coming to the settlement as young families with children, of high socio-economic status. "Beautiful people, with a lot of good will to influence and create a strong community together with the veteran residents and educators from the community whose goal is equal - to create for us and our children a good and healthy future in a charming community, full of nature reserves and very interesting history, to develop community and employment and not just quality real estate. This is the real Israeli dream. "



"I am afraid of this move," admits local activist Ruthi Benin, 63, who is married with two grown sons, who moved to Atlit from Haifa more than thirty years ago.

"They will finish the construction and collection of the levies and then privatize us, while the community is still desperate for sufficient infrastructure. You need a private car here because there is no public transport. There is no bank, not enough shops, there are non-stop power outages and the internet is constantly falling," she described.

"There are not enough income-producing businesses in the locality, and the income is generated mainly from residential property taxes. This will not be enough to cover the expenses required for a locality that is developing at this rate towards 30,000 residents."



A new master plan approved in 2020 is expected to provide commercial and industrial areas including a thriving alternative to the southern industrial area that will benefit from the construction of another residential neighborhood, additional entertainment and leisure venues and determining planning order in a locality whose future was unclear in the union years.

Among the residents' wishes is also the arrangement of the additional southern exit to Highway 2.

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Source: walla

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