Farmers may continue to expand community neighborhoods in moshavim agricultural settlements - and kibbutzim, and may continue to build commercial and other facilities (such as tourist resorts or old age homes) on land zoned for farming, the attorney general wrote in an opinion delivered to the government.
However, AG Elyakim Rubinstein wrote, these lands should not be allocated for alternative purposes at a discount.
That means that farmers may utilize land zoned for farming in alternative ways, but must pat the Israel Land Authority the full price for leasing the land.
Although Rubinstein's ruling is a blow to farmers' hopes, it still gives them benefits. First of all, they may lease the land without undergoing a tender process, and make profits from whatever business they set up on it. Secondly, the ILA tends to undercharge on land, particularly in the crowded center of the country.
Regarding compensation for land rezoned from farming to residential, the attorney-general concurred with Agriculture Minister Shalom Simchon, that compensation for farmers may not be based on the land's estimated value after reclassification. Compensation shall be based on its value as farmland, Rubinstein opined.