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Globes, Israel.

Six local municipalities in Israel have asked the Ministry of Transport to support its efforts to receive planning approval for the construction of new marinas while other cities want to expand some of the eight existing ones, due to a severe shortage of berths for luxury yachts and other sailing craft.

The six cities that have applied for planning permission to build the new marinas are Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, Nahariya, Haifa, Hadera and Netanya. In addition Rishon Lezion, Kiryat Yam and the Hof Hacarmel Regional Council are considering applying for planning permission. The National Planning Commission is currently discussing the matter.

But the Ministry of Environmental Protection is vehemently against the plans pointing out that Israel has only 196 kilometers of Mediterranean coastline with only 50 kilometers of beaches open to the public. Opponents claims that marinas for a handful of wealthy people would be at the expense of beaches for the public at large.

The Ministry of Transport argues that the absence of berths means that many Israelis must moor their boats overseas in Cyprus, Greece and elsewhere, while foreign boat owners are unable to moor their boats in Israeli marinas and vacation here.

A letter written by Minister of Transport Miri Regev recently to Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri was recently seen by "Globes." She wrote, "Since 2016, berths in Israel have been completely full. Israeli citizens who own boats are forced to search for available moorings around the Mediterranean and according to professional sources we are talking about 1,500 boat owners."

Read the full story at Globes.

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