Gov’t Approves $6M Expansion of Hebron Urban Jewish Settlement

The far-right Israeli government approved on Sunday, October 14, allocating some 22 million shekels ($6.1 million) in government funding to expand the Jewish settlement inside the Palestinian West Bank city of Hebron. Israel’s Civil Administration for the occupied West Bank had already approved the new construction, which will be carried out at the site of a former Israeli army base. The green-light given by the cabinet this week enables the work to proceed on the new Jewish neighborhood, which is slated to include 31 housing units as well as kindergartens and public spaces.

A number of government ministries, including the Science, Technology and Space Ministry, the Environmental Protection Ministry, and the ministries of Social Equality, Justice and Education, will fund the new settlement project, which will reduce the military zone in the area. Some of the funds will come from this year’s budget, with the rest coming from the 2019 budget.

“Twenty-two million shekels to expand the occupation… straight from government ministries near your home,” said Hadash MK Ayman Odeh, the Chairman of the Joint List in the Knesset, remarked in a sarcastic tweet. “The divisive and inciting right-wing government is continuing to inflame the region and then shouts that there is no partner,” a reference to a Palestinian partner for peace negotiations. “For the benefit of a handful of extremist settlers, the government is trampling its citizens.”