Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will, on Sunday, 31.10.10, submit for Cabinet approval, a multi-faceted plan to strengthen and develop the city of Lod.  This is in light of the city’s harsh and unique situation and in continuation of the Prime Minister’s directive to formulate a NIS 130 million inter-ministerial action plan for the city.  The goal of the plan is to strengthen the personal security and resilience of the residents, work towards strengthening its economic independence, create infrastructure so as to promote development, deal with the phenomenon of illegal construction and draw new residents.

The plan includes various actions in the fields of security, transportation, housing, planning, construction, social welfare, sports, etc.:

* Enforcement: A NIS 10 million plan to reduce the level of crime and violence for 2010-2011, including the collection of illegal weapons and expanding police activities.  Lod will be included in the "urban policing" model.  A network of cameras will be installed and a central control center will be established.

* Planning and construction: NIS 30 million will be allocated to renovate urban infrastructure in the central neighborhoods.  A plan will be implemented to develop and upgrade infrastructures in existing neighborhoods.  New neighborhoods will be marketed in order to attract new residents.  Enforcement regarding illegal construction will be increased.  For example, NIS 12 million will be invested in providing status for illegal construction in the Pardes Snir neighborhood; roads and infrastructure will be developed in order to improve its residents’ quality of life.

* Transportation: Approximately NIS 60 million will be invested in projects to improve transportation access to the city and in road safety.

* Social welfare: The social welfare network will receive an additional NIS 4 million per annum.  New job slots will be created for social workers, including positions designated for Arabic speakers.  NIS 3 million will be invested in informal education in the Arab neighborhoods and NIS 10 million in building sports facilities in the city.

* The local authority will be strengthened – inter alia – by the preparation of a strategic plan that will concentrate on promoting economic development and urban administration, especially in the areas of engineering, planning, social welfare and enforcement.

Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that the state of Israel cannot allow Lod to continue to deteriorate: "We will do whatever is necessary so that Lod will continue to attract residents, young couples and tourists.  The first commitment of any government to its citizens is security.  I cannot accept that Lod will become the wild west; we are committed to prevent this.  Only a comprehensive plan will save the city and I am certain that the integrated actions which we are taking in the fields of the economy, housing, infrastructure, social welfare and personal security are the combination that will bring change to Lod."