Israel to Allocate $35m to World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division

World Zionist Organization's settlement division won't say how money would be divided, but most will go to towns near conflict zones.

Nimrod Bousso
Nimrod Bousso
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
The West Bank settlement of Efrat is seen on September 1, 2014.
The West Bank settlement of Efrat is seen on September 1, 2014. Credit: AFP
Nimrod Bousso
Nimrod Bousso

The cabinet approved a proposal Wednesday to allocate 130 million shekels ($34.7 million) to the World Zionist Organization’s settlement division for the purposes of “developing agricultural and rural settlement,” even though the proposal does not detail how the money would be divided among West Bank settlements and Negev and Galilee towns.

Division head Danny Kritzman refused to state where exactly the money would go, but said most of the funds would be allocated to towns near conflict zones.

Two months ago the settlement division was allocated 80 million shekels to help rehabilitate communities bordering the Gaza Strip following Operation Protective Edge this summer, on top of its existing budget of 58 million skekels.

Kritzman said the specific working plan for the funds was nearly finalized, but would not offer any details about it. The plan will be released to the public when final, he said.

The proposal described only vague goals such as expanding rural communities via demographic growth, increasing their employment options and maintaining open spaces.

The funds will become part of the division’s annual budget for 2014. Fund use is to be approved as part of a separate working plan.

The settlement unit works on behalf of Israel’s government to found and assist rural communities, and is fully funded by the state. Under an agreement signed between the state and the World Zionist Organization in 2000, the unit has been working to found and assist communities in the Golan Heights and the West Bank. It used to operate in the Gaza settlement bloc of Gush Katif as well until Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

Since 2004, the WZO settlement division has launched operations in the Galilee and Negev as well.

The settlement unit’s budget is a subcategory of the Prime Minister’s Office budget, and the unit is responsible to the PMO. However, its operations are determined based on specific cabinet decisions, some of them initiated by other ministries.

In this case, the budget addition came due to a proposal by Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir, who refused to divulge details on how the money would be used.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott