Benefits to Yesha Towns, Arabs

Two weeks after Netanyahu’s rushed construction freeze decree, he announces new benefits for many settlements – as well as Arabs.

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Hillel Fendel , | updated: 09:57

PM Netanyahu
PM Netanyahu
Israel news photo

Two weeks after Prime Minister Netanyahu’s rushed construction freeze decree, he announces new benefits for many settlements – as well as Arabs.

The new Map of National Priorities was released on Wednesday evening, for the perusal of Cabinet ministers before a government vote. The map specifies locations throughout Israel whose residents – a total of 26% of the national population – are to receive special benefits. 

Many Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria are included in the list, especially those whose residents received special “outlying area” benefits for years until being removed from the list under the Barak government a decade ago.

In addition, some 40% of Israel’s Arab population will receive the new benefits – compared with 8% in previous arrangements. Despite this, headlines in Ynet, Maariv-NRG and other news outlets emphasized only the perks given to “settlements.”

Beit El, Itamar, Kiryat Arba, and More
Among the towns to receive benefits in education, employment, infrastructures and more are: Efrat, Beit El, Itamar, the Jordan Valley communities, Elon Moreh, Ariel, Beitar Illit, Nokdim, Kiryat Arba and more.  The choice of locations is dependent largely, but not exclusively, on security considerations.

The new map is perceived as Netanyahu’s way of “compensating” the Jews of Judea and Samaria for the 10-month construction freeze he announced at the end of November. However, Netanyahu’s Bureau Chief Eyal Gabbai contested this interpretation: “Work on the new map of national priorities began five months ago. Over the past few weeks we have been working just on formulations, such that nothing was changed after the freeze announcement.”

Some two billion shekels will be allocated towards the project – just over 1,000 shekels for each of the 1.9 million people included in it. The funds will be distributed by the various ministries.





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