Netanyahu pledges NIS 800m to bolster West Bank security
Day after settler leaders and members of families who have lost relatives to West Bank terror attacks pitch tent outside PM's Residence campaigning for tighter security provisions, Netanyahu holds meeting, promising to earmark huge sum in upcoming budget; 'We won't move from here until the budget passes.'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Wednesday to earmark NIS 800 million in the upcoming budget for bolstering security provisions in the West Bank during a meeting with heads of settler movements.
Convening the meeting a day after a protest tent was pitched outside his residence by families who had lost relatives to terror attacks in the West Bank, the prime minister informed the Yesha Council that he had worked during recent weeks to ensure that their requests were met and claimed that in the last several months he had instructed his staff to examine the requirements, the feasibility of the projects and ordered them to look into recruiting the necessary number of workers.
Bereaved families and the movement leaders, including head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan, Beit Aryeh Council head Avi Naim, and the head of the Kiryat Arba Regional Council Malachi Levinger, erected the protest tent outside the Prime Minister’s Residence Wednesday to protest against what they claim is Netanyahu’s persistent failure to deliver on promises to boost their security.
“We have received promises and spins. Until the decision about the budget is passed through the necessary paths, we will sit here opposite the Prime Minister’s Residence with the bereaved families. Our residents won’t be neglected,” they said.
Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) also paid a visit to the tent on Wednesday where he reassured its occupants that Netanyahu shared their desire to see his promises come to fruition.
“I don’t think that the prime minister doesn’t want there to be security for the residents of Judea and Samaria. I am sure he does want there to be,” Katz said.
“That said, the bottom line is that there are no bypass roads and we don’t want to be on the side of those making excuses, we want to be on the winning side and that’s why I am here.”
The tent was not the only mechanism employed to exert further pressure on the prime minister.
In a personal plea, Racheli (Salomon) Manzali, who lost her father, sister and brother in a brutal terror stabbing attack in Halamish in July, penned an emotional missive addressed to Netanyahu decrying the lax security arrangements in the area.
Signed by Racheli and a surviving daughter and sister of one of the victims, the letter urged Netanyahu to intervene and secure the required budget.
“It has been extremely difficult for me to hear in the last few days about the ‘getting out for the campaign’ by the bereaved families and the Yesha Council leaders to demand security and defense for the communities,” the letter began.
“I am struggling to understand how a leader of the nationalist camp does not allow the allocation of the basic requirements to the communities and the main roads in Judea and Samaria,” the letter continued.
“Why do we need to get out and campaign on the issue that I am sure is important to you no less than it is for every one of us?” Manzali asked.
“Why do bereaved families need to demand basic security requirements in order for there not to be more victims? We were told by security sources that if the security facilities had been installed at Neve Tsuf (Halamish) that had been approved long before the attack, it could have been prevented.”