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Cabinet Approves NIS 85 Million Western Wall Development Plan
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

The Cabinet this morning (Sunday), 21.11.10, approved a plan for the
continued development of the Western Wall plaza and its environs, and the
implementation of construction work at an investment of NIS 85 million over
five years.  The goal of the plan is to preserve – and improve accessibility
to – archaeological findings, upgrade physical and transportation
infrastructures, and hold educational activities for students and soldiers.

The plan, for 2011-2015, is a direct continuation of the five-year plan that
was approved by the Cabinet in 2004.  These investments have led to a major
increase in the annual number of visitors to the Western Wall, which
according to Israel Police estimates, has grown from two million people to
eight million in 2009.

The Western Wall is the most visited site in Israel.  In addition to those
who visit it in order to pray, it also serves as an historical site for
visitors and a heritage focus for educating students and soldiers.  Thus, it
is necessary to meet the traffic needs of private vehicles and public
, create access routes for emergency vehicles, increase access
for the handicapped and provide for the flow of visitors on weekdays and

The plan will be administered by the Prime Minister's Office and will be
implemented via the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.  It will be financed
by the Interior, Transportation, Tourism, Public Security and Education
ministries, as well as by the Israel Land Administration.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, "The Western Wall is the Jewish
People's most important heritage site.  We are committed to developing and
maintaining it so that it may continue to the focus of visits and a source
of inspiration for millions of visitors, tourists, young and old, from
Israel and around the world."

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Website: www.imra.org.il