Parks Authority says it has cut, frozen jobs for close to half its workers amid budget woes

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter

An endangered Gilboa iris pokes up from a field of wild flowers on Mount Barkan, northern Israel, in March 2024. (Roi Federman/Israel Nature and Parks Authority)
An endangered Gilboa iris pokes up from a field of wild flowers on Mount Barkan, northern Israel, in March 2024. (Roi Federman/Israel Nature and Parks Authority)

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority reveals that it has cut 300 day jobs, and sent an additional 300 out of a total of 1,300 workers to forced unpaid leave.

The “efficiency” moves form part of an agreement with the Finance Ministry to underwrite a NIS 200 million (just under $55 million) budget deficit.

Around 40 percent of the organization’s income is raised independently, chiefly through entrance fees to nature reserves and national parks. Reduced numbers of visitors since the start of the ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza have hit this income badly.

According to an INPA spokeswoman, the consequences of the cuts will include delays in developing new nature sites, and a freeze on projects that are in their early stages of planning. Contracts for new workers have been put on hold, and overtime pay has stopped.

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