Netanyahu Announces $11.5 Million Budget for Settlements as West Bank Leaders Express Political Support

A week after the prime minister was charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, West Bank regional council heads say they 'want to see the continuation of your blessed work for the State of Israel'

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Jewish West Bank regional council heads at his bureau in Jerusalem, November 28, 2019.
Kobi Gideon / GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday that he would transfer 40 million shekels ($11.5 million) to West Bank settlements during a meeting with the heads of Jewish regional councils in the area.

Simultaneously, the Council of Judea and Samaria announced its support for the prime minister, one week after Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit had decided to indict Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three corruption cases.

“The councils' heads expressed support for the prime minister and appreciation of the way in which he is running the country,” the council said in a statement.

The participants in the meeting with Netanyahu, the council added, discussed “the possibilities of establishing a government that would support and strengthen Israeli settlement” as well as extending Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea region.

Jordan Valley Regional Council chairman David Elhayani added that “Mr. Prime Minister, heads of the councils in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley express their support in you and strengthen you. We want to see the continuation of your blessed work for the State of Israel. We are at your side,” Elhayani said. The meeting was held at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

According to Netanyahu’s announcement, the funds are to be approved by the government next Sunday. The prime minister said in the meeting that “a one-time security grant of 34.5 million shekels ($9.9 million) will be awarded as a designated addition to the budget, according to set criteria.”

Netanyahu added that “Furthermore, a designated amount of 5.5 million shekels ($1.5 million) will be provided for reinforcing the first aid stations in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley. Another issue that will be brought before the ministers for approval is the allocation of 3.6 million shekels ($1.036 million) for the benefit of continuing to operate emergency service centers in Judea and Samaria.”