Israel to Allocate $19 Million More for Settlements, Citing Security Concerns

The cabinet will vote at its weekly session on Sunday to add another 74 million to 340 million already earmarked for Israeli enclaves in occupied territory.

Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
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Amona, an unauthorized outpost in the West Bank, east of the Palestinian town of Ramallah, May 18, 2016.
Amona, an unauthorized outpost in the West Bank, east of the Palestinian town of Ramallah, May 18, 2016.Credit: Oded Balilty, AP
Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

The Israeli cabinet will vote at its weekly Sunday session on a proposed addition of 74 million shekels ($19 million) to a budget of 340 million shekels for Jewish settlements, for a "unique security situation they face on a daily basis."

The draft proposal says "Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria live in a unique security situation on a daily basis due to their geographic location and fabric of life in the region.

"Since October there has been an escalation in the security situation in Judea and Samaira due to terrorist attacks and other attacks. The security escalation has a lot of effects on various parts of life, including a psychological and social impact, and an economic effect on businesses which calls for special responses and services."

The funds for the settlements will come from several budgets. The Interior Ministry will provide 15 million shekels to local councils, another 10 million will come from the Agriculture Ministry to renovate buildings into permanent structures. The Education, Welfare, Health Ministries and Treasury, will forward another 12 million shekels.

The cabinet approved 340 million shekels in Transport Ministry funds for the settlements, in August, as part of the 2015-2016 state budget.

Haaretz reported two months ago that Neanyahu and former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon had decided to advance the construction of hundreds of settlement homes. The plan was quietly frozen for about a year, but there has recently been a decision to advance new plans to the Civil Administration's planning commission.

The Prime Minister's Office denied that report, but aerial photographs have shown new construction under way and approval has been given for plans to build 70 housing units in the settlement of Nokdim.

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