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US-built base will allow IDF to shift from territories

 . . . .06/9/2001

US-built base will allow IDF to shift from territories
By Arieh O'Sullivan The Jerusalem Post 6 September 2001

NAHSHONIM (September 6) - Senior IDF officers and US
officials participated in the cornerstone-laying yesterday for a $40 million, ultra-modern emergency supply base being constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The base, near Kibbutz Nahshonim east of Ben-Gurion Airport, is the second of five the US has pledged to build so that the IDF can redeploy out of the territories.

This is part of the $266 million project to set up alternatives to IDF bases in the West Bank under the 1998 Wye River Memorandum, in which the US agreed to fund infrastructure costs. The original idea was for the IDF to free up land for possible transfer to the Palestinians. The base building has continued on schedule, regardless of the current violence with the Palestinians.

Attending the ceremony was US Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, as well as Deputy Defense Minister Dalia Rabin-Pelesoff, Defense Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron, and OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Itzik Eitan. Also on hand was the deputy commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The base will contain more than 100 structures, which defense officials said will be built with ultra-modern climate control. They will be used to store weapons and supplies for a reserve division.

Planners of the base said it was designed to quickly equip combat units in an emergency call-up. The US Army Corps of Engineers is the main contractor. Local companies will be subcontracted to perform the bulk of the work.

Last May, the US Army Corps of Engineers started building a massive paratrooper training base in the northern Negev. It also constructed the Uvda air base near Eilat as part of the Camp David Accords with Egypt.



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