Israel’s far-right government approved on Sunday, December 1, an additional 40 million shekels ($11.5 million) for settlements in the occupied West Bank. The overwhelming majority of the funding allocation approved by the cabinet – 34.5 million shekels ($9.9 million) – is reportedly a one-time grant for “security needs” of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The remaining 5.5 million shekels ($1.6 million) is “for the construction of first aid stations.”
News of the funding was initially made public by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Thursday, November 28, after the embattled premier had met with senior settler leaders, who ended the meeting by expressing support for Netanyahu “and appreciation for his leadership of the country.”
Following the cabinet meeting yesterday, Joint List chair MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) wrote to Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit saying that the circumstances of the funding decision “raise a grave suspicion of budget allocation in exchange for political favors.” “Netanyahu has done the two things that he loves, at the same time, misappropriating public funds for his personal benefit and expanding the settlement enterprise in order to deepen the occupation,” Odeh said.