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Monday, January 21, 2013 

Haredi "cartel" is nixed in Harish housing bid

This is decidedly a good thing, also because some illegal maneuvers were being made:
The Israel Land Administration on Thursday nixed a haredi real estate group's plan to gain control of vast amounts of land in the newly constructed city of Harish, located between Hadera and Netanya.

The Ministry of Housing and Construction, headed by Shas MK Ariel Atias, had planned to turn Harish into a city with a largely ultra-Orthodox population. The Israel Land Administration's decision means that the city will revert to being a mixed secular and religious community, because other bidding groups eclipsed by the haredi real-estate cartel were secular.

The auction of 4,634 housing units ended on Thursday, and the presently small community of a few hundred families in Harish will soon become part of a city home to thousands. A representative from the Land Authority said that following the auction, the Land Authority received reports that multiple haredi organizations, all tied to one company, made numerous bids, which is illegal. [...]

Yoav Zahavi of Zahavi, Blau and Associates, represented the Ne'ot Harish group, which sought to fight against the "haredi conquest of the community." Zahavi stated on Thursday: "The Israel Land Administration acted with integrity and barred an illegal cartel."
Yes, they performed well in barring a shady Haredi outfit from trying to turn the neighborhood into a potential ghetto mentality enclave. I can see why Shas doesn't make a very good representative for the housing ministry. Turning the neighborhood into an insular enclave is simply not the way to go.

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