The Israeli government plans to approve a large financial package of 72 million shekel (approximately $17 million) which will be allocated to building up Israel’s Biblical homeland in Judea and Samaria, Ynet News reported.
The funds will be divided as follows:
The Interior Ministry will receive a one-time grant of 15 million shekels which will be given to local authorities in Judea and Samaria ‘settlements’ to properly address the expenses that have arisen as a result of the ongoing security breaches in the area.
Another 10 million shekels will be used by the Ministry of Agriculture who will spend that money to convert all temporary housing into renovated, permanent buildings for public security.
A further 12 million shekels, over the course of three years, will be invested in funding resilience centers which will be used to help West Bank communities strengthen their preparedness for emergencies. The centers will also provide those in need with psychological support as well as social programs, according to Ynet.
Though a large portion is being allotted on security-related grounds, as noted above, a closer examination of the budget has revealed a significant amount of the money is being put towards areas which may not actually be necessary for security matters in the region, Ynet explained.
The Ministry of Social Affairs, the branch of the Israeli government assigned to ensure the welfare of the Israeli public, will be given six million shekels to increase its activities in the region.
Two million shekels will be earmarked towards the Ministry of Social Equality, who provide support for elderly citizens, encourage volunteer work, further social engagement among the community’s youth, and even buoy female empowerment.
The Education Ministry will receive six million shekels to provide social care for youths who face security risks.
The Ministry of Internal Security will designate one and a half million shekels towards implementing unique programs which are designed to educate the dangers of and prevent violence among youths.
The Science Ministry will also be granted a small portion – one million shekels – to increase science courses and science camps, and make science more accessible to the Israeli public in general.
Businesses in Judea and Samaria will also receive assistance as two million shekels have been budgeted for the Economics Ministry which it will allocate to the state guarantee fund. The ministry plans to increase state guarantees to a full 85 percent.
Another five and a half million shekels will be poured into the tourism industry – a responsibility that will be managed by the Ministry of Tourism who will bolster public tourism infrastructure in the area.
The remaining 20 percent of the 72 million shekels will, for the first time, be funnelled towards the construction of hotels and motels in major tourist centers in the West Bank, such as Hebron. Tourist Minister Yariv Levin put forward the proposal after noting the government’s many years of failure in its attempts build hotels in the region.
Though the recent move to appropriate such a large budget towards building up Jewish presence and support in Judea and Samaria, a small portion of Israel’s Knesset members have voiced outrage against it. Said MK Itzik Shmuli of the left wing Zionist Union 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?”
Erecting communities and infrastructure in Judea and Samaria is a constant dispute in the Holy Land. Though Biblical prophecies foretell of the day when the Jews will return to their Homeland and build it up to prepare for the messiah, modern politics demand Israel put a full halt on all projects, claiming that the West Bank does not belong to the Jews, they have no historical claim to the land, and Israel must therefore end all settlement expansions.