State to Move Archives to Arad as Part of Negev Development Plan

Panel also approves plan to subsidize land development, housing for reserve soldiers who relocate to Negev.

The Ministerial Committee on Development in the Negev and Galilee on Wednesday approved several plans to develop the Negev, including a plan to move the State Archives from Jerusalem to Arad.

According to the Ministry of Development in the Negev and Galilee, an investigation into conditions in the Negev found that its dry climate is ideal for storing the archives' documents.

During the first stage, the ministry will deliver a budget of the project. Plans for site construction will begin at the beginning of 2008.

The committee, which is headed by Vice Premier Shimon Peres, also approved a plan to subsidize the costs of land development for reserve soldiers who will move to Israel's south in conjunction with the relocation of the Israel Defense Forces' training bases to the Negev. The cost of subsidies would be NIS 26.1 million that would serve to develop half dunam land plots for 340 housing units for reserve soldiers in Be'er Sheva, Dimona, Arad, and Meitar.

In addition to the cost of land development, the ministry will transfer NIS 1.8 million in subsidies for 150 families of reserve soldiers who will rent apartments in Be'er Sheva or Dimona.

The Vice Premier's office, the Construction and Housing Ministry, and the Defense Ministry will be jointly responsible for the projects' budgets.