On Tuesday, the National Planning Council subcommittee responsible for general planning principles recommended that the National Planning Council authorize the construction of Kasif, a new haredi city in the Negev, 10 km. west of Arad. The move was met with criticism from environmental organizations for its effect on open spaces, but also from local leaders.
Arad Mayor Gideon Bar-Lev said his municipality had opposed the initiative from the start, when it first came up for debate two-and-a-half years ago
"We think it is a huge mistake in principle and that the decision goes against the state's main planning objections of dispersing the population," he said.