Harish – A new city in Israel
Harish is located on green hills close to the Iron interchange on Highway 6, at a height of 110 meters above sea level, and a driving distance of 10 minutes from Pardes Hanna-Karkur.
About the city of Harish
The city's origin is in Kibbutz Harish, established in the '80s and abandoned in the early '90s .After the kibbutz' evacuation, the Ministry of Construction and Housing laid down preliminary infrastructure for the development of the city of Harish. Additionally, as part of the plan to unify local authorities, a unified local council was established for the communities of Katzir and Harish, despite the relatively large distance between them.
Despite considerable investment in planning, and extensive infrastructure deployment, at the start, the city's development was unsuccessful, and the population remained sparse – of the 1,000 housing units built, only about 300 were populated .Over the years, the town's population expanded slightly, rising to about 500 families; however, most of the infrastructure remained unused. In recent years, especially after the paving of Highway 6, the region saw a significant increase in the demand for housing among young couples and families, who found a home in the surrounding kibbutzim and the various communities in the Pardes Hanna-Karkur area. Harish's proximity to Highway 6, its location in the heart of the green Iron hills that enjoy continuous air flow and low humidity levels relative to the coastal plain, created renewed interest in the town's development.
In 2007, the Ministry of Construction and Housing decided to attempt and settle Harish once more -this time as an ultra-Orthodox town. In 2010, a plan was designed to create 9,000 housing units and adapt the town to the needs of a Haredi population only. Many objections were submitted to this plan, mainly by the town's secular residents, but were rejected by the Appeals Committee of the National Planning and Building Council.
In July 2011, residents of Harish petitioned the Haifa District Court against the decision that targeted the town solely for Haredi population, claiming that the planning would prevent the town's secular residents to continue the communal way of life they had maintained for more than a decade. The Court accepted the residents' petition, and ruled that construction tenders for building in Harish should be opened to the general public and not be designated solely for Haredim. In addition, it was decided that the town would offer community services suitable to all residents.
In 2012, a tender was held by the Israel Lands Administration on land for construction in Harish. A large number of contractors participated in the tender, among them 13 Haredi non-profit organizations. At the closing of the tender, the tender's committee disqualified 12 proposals by Haredi groups claiming advance coordination between them regarding the level of bids in the tender.
A new city open to all
With the decision to disqualify the 12 Haredi groups, the expected population composition of the future town changed significantly, and Harish became in fact a city open to the entire Israeli public. Moreover, the then Minister of the Interior, Gideon Sa'ar, announced that, for the first time in a decade, democratic elections would be held for the head of the Harish Local Council, a decision that terminated the term of the Shas-appointed committee headed by Nissim Dahan, one of the leading elements in the failed attempt to transform the town into a Haredi town. In elections for the leadership of the Harish Local Council, which took place at the end of 2013, Mr. Yitzhak Keshet was elected to serve as the new head of the Council.
In November 2015, the Prime Minister, accompanied by senior ministers, visited Harish, and in December 2015, the government approved the draft resolution regarding the establishment of Harish, anchoring the commitment of various government ministries to the development of the city. As part of the decision, financial resources of over NIS 1 billion were allocated for the city's development and the various services of its residents.
In 2013, the first stage saw the start of construction of 6,000 housing units in the "Avnei Chen" and "Horesh" neighborhoods. In the second stage, in 2017, over 3,000 additional housing units were built in the "Haprahim" neighborhood ("formerly known as "Ha'Magaf"), located in the southeastern part of Harish. In 2019, another 2,500 housing units started to be built in the "Bezavta" neighborhood, as part of the first "Plan and Build" tender in Israel, as well as in the main business district ("Ma'of"), which will also include a business and commercial zone, gas station, and other infrastructures. Last projects in these neighborhoods are still being sold.
Recently, a new plan, was approved for deposit, that will significantly expand the city and will enable the establishment of a business and commercial zone in the city.
In May 2022, the Minister of the Interior, Ayelet Shaked, signed a change in the local council's municipal status and Harish was declared as a city in Israel.
The city's population growth
In April 2016, Form No. 4 was issued to the first 100 housing units in Harish, in the "Zamarot Harish" and "Dimri in Harish" projects of the Megiddo and YH Dimri real estate companies. In early May 2016, the first family moved to Harish as part of populating the new projects.
Currently, all first five neighborhoods of Harish are populated. During 2022, the number of citizens living in Harish reached 35,000. Within the next 2-3 years, at least 50,000 residents are expected to live in Harish, and the population is expected to number about 100,000 residents in the next decade. The city's population is mostly secular and national-religious.
Public and educational institutions
On September 1st, 2016, with the establishment of four primary schools and 20 kindergartens and day care centers, the first year of studies opened in Harish. On September 2022, 10,000 children attended the city's 19 schools and 134 kindergartens.
During 2017, the main commercial avenue opened (Derech Eretz Ave.) which today includes a variety of shops, sick fund branches, banks, fast food, cafés and more.
As a new city, Harish has become an exceptional solution in Israel for young couples and families looking for quality housing at affordable prices, in close proximity and with accessibility to the center of the country. Four-room units at high quality of construction standards are sold today at around 1.5 million Shekels.
Harish's advantages include:
Galilee-type quality of life, at a short drive from the center of the country:
- 15 minutes from Caesarea
- 50 minutes from Tel Aviv
- 30 minutes from Kfar-Saba and Ra'anana
- 40 minutes from Haifa
- Advanced infrastructures and optimal urban planning – the city's infrastructures are designed on modern and advanced urban planning. The city was planned to ensure efficient and full use of the area, and includes a large number of greenery, public buildings and educational institutions, and a fully-developed public transport infrastructure.
- New apartments at affordable prices, given that the land and infrastructure were mostly subsidized by the state and the fact that the city is still being built.
- A young, high-quality community, involved from the first day in the process of establishing a city at a variety of levels.
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