The Israeli Land Authority (ILA) is reportedly making more money from its land deals than any other entity in the country, with its latest acquisition of land worth an estimated $1.7 billion.
According to an article published by Haaretz, the Israeli government will soon acquire more than 60 percent of the land in the Negev Desert, which is located in the north of the country.
The land, acquired from the Neftimah Development Authority, is expected to generate approximately 1.3 billion shekels ($1.2 billion).
“We are working to acquire more and more land in our desert,” said ILA’s head of planning and planning services, Moshe Shafran.
“We are currently working on the acquisition of over 20 million dunams of land in Negef, and that land will generate some 1.4 billion shekel ($1 billion) in the next two years.
In the same article, the Times of Israel also reported that the land sale was “one of the most expensive land deals in the world.”
The land acquisition in the desert is likely a response to a recent uptick in construction projects in the area.
Last year, construction in the valley surged to nearly $7 billion, a 20 percent increase from 2015.
Construction was also reportedly increasing significantly in the last two years, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The increase is likely due to the recent influx of Jewish settlers into the area, which has seen a recent influx in construction, with the government recently approving plans to construct a new apartment complex.