Agriculture Minister Shalom Simchon will take control of the government body in charge of Jewish settlement on Sunday morning. According to Maariv, the body has provided at least NIS 1.5 billion for Jewish settlement since the 1990s, and has an annual budget between NIS 100-200 million. Simchon is expected to announce that the group will stop funding Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
The plan to use all government funding for towns in the Negev and Galilee, and not Judea and Samaria, was created by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Raanon Dinor, and Simchon. Olmert has often said that he plans to destroy many Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in order to give large areas of land to the Palestinian Authority.