Photo: Reuters
Ma'ale Adumim
Photo: Reuters

Government approves NIS 72 million for West Bank

Citing security as its justification, the government will pump resources into West Bank ventures including the establishment of hotels; Haredi community set to receive millions as agreed during coalition talks

The government approved on Sunday a massive financial package of 72 million shekels for settlements during its weekly meeting.



While the budget is largely being justified on security-related grounds, an examination of where the money will be directed shows that a large proportion is intended for fields which are not related to security matters.


The program will assign the Interior Ministry a one-time grant of NIS 15 million to local authorities in settlements in light of the expenses arising from the security situation in the region.


Ma'ale Adumim (Photo: Reuters)
Ma'ale Adumim (Photo: Reuters)


As part of the program the Interior Ministry will allocate 15 million shekels to the local authorities of the settlements in light of the outgoings which have come from the situation in the area. The Ministry of Agriculture will undertake efforts to convert temporary structures into permanent and renovated buildings for the public to strengthen security. The sum allocated for this will be NIS 10 million.


Furthermore, money will be allocated toward funding resilience centers in order to strengthen the preparedness of communities in the West Bank for emergencies and to support psychological and social programs. The investment will total 12 million shekels over the course of 3 years. Additionally, the Ministry of Social Affairs will increase its activities in the West Bank at a cost of 6 million shekels.


The Ministry of Social Equality will also be strengthened in many fields by providing further support for elderly citizens, the promotion of social engagement among young people for the community, the propomtion of volunteer work, female empowerment - all at the cost of 2 million shekels. 



Similarly, the Education Ministry will enable local authorities to provide social care for youths in security risks and will be allocated 6 million shekels to do so. The government will also instruct the ministry of internal security to implement unique programs designed to prevent violence among youths which will receive 1.5 million shekels.


Part of the budget belonging to the the Science Ministry will be contributed to the settlements in an effort to promote science in the community by way of science courses, science camps and by making science more accessible to the public in general - a venture which will receive one million shekels.


The agency for small and medium-sized businesses in the Economics Ministry will assist businesses in the region by increasing state guarantees to 85 percent. To this end, 2 million shekels will be allocated to the state guarantee fund.


Perhaps most strikingly, the Ministry of Tourism will allocate 5.5 million shekels for the developments of public tourism infrastructure in the area.


Furthemore, for the first time, support was pledged for a budget which would be directed toward the construction of hotels and motels in major tourist centers in the West Bank. After many year in which the government failed in its attempts to create a budget for the building of hotels in the region, the government approved a proposal put forth by Tourist Minister Yariv Levin’s to grant 20 percent of the costs for erecting hotels in the area.


The assistance program will augment other similar programs which the government decided upon during the last year which cost millions of shekels. MK Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Union) said on Saturday, “This is simply an outrageous decision. At a time when people are marching in Jerusalem because of government malpractice, it decides to pour tens of millions of shekels into the settlements. When will this government start caring about the periphery which is being left behind?” 


Finally, the money will not only go on the settlements.The government will approve the transfer of 155 million shekels - 80 million this year and 75 million next year - for Haredi people which was agreed to during the coalition talks. The Ministry of Finance has said that the entire sum of money is earmarked for Haredi Yeshivas.


פרסום ראשון: 06.19.16, 10:56
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