State Comptroller: IDF Controls 39% of Israel's Land Within the Green Line

Micha Lindenstrauss harshly criticizes IDF land use in new report, calling it an 'ongoing failure'; another report by State Comptroller finds that the Mossad has been wasting tens of millions of shekels of government funds.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss harshly criticized the use of state land by the Israel Defense Forces in a report issued on Tuesday, finding that it controls 39 percent of Israel's land inside the Green Line.

In his report, Lindenstrauss said that the IDF bases are spread out on over 8.7 million dunam in Israel and occupy 39 percent of land within the Green Line. The report further stated that over 40 percent of land in Israel, 8.8 million dunam, is under building restrictions due to military considerations.

Most of the land under restriction is located in the south, but the army also occupies land in dense metropolitan areas in central Israel.

Lindenstrauss said that during the last six months of his investigation he found that there was insufficient supervision on the land use by the IDF, calling it "an ongoing failure" and saying that "its main consequences are wasting land resources, public money and harming public interest."

The comptroller condemned the three major security bodies, the IDF, the Defense Office and the Israel Land Administration, saying that even in cases in which the IDF vacated urban land in central Israel, it was done without the sufficient supervision and in many cases caused environmental damage.

Lindenstrauss stressed that the firing ranges that occupy more than a third of Israel's land within the Green Line, are not amply managed and there is no supervising body that checks up on the use of the land.

The State Comptroller also issued a report Tuesday on the Mossad, which found that the intelligence agency has been wasting tens of millions of shekels of government funds.

Lindenstrauss' investigation focused on the Mossad's logistics department and on its building practices in particular.

IDF tank- Emil Salman
Emil Salman

In his report, Lindenstrauss said there were suspicions that officials in the Mossad were fixing tenders, issuing contracts without tenders, and wasting tens of millions of shekels in funds in the recent building boom in the Mossad headquarters over the past several years.

This was the first time the State Comptroller published a public report on the Mossad. Until now, all of the reports on Israel's intelligence organization were confidential and were passed on to the leaders of the Mossad, the prime minister and the heads of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the State Control Committee.