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      Settlements not at Expense of Hareidim, Says Samaria's Mesika

      Samaria Regional Authority leader responds to “cheap demagoguery” which he says is meant to create strife.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 8/4/2013, 6:13 PM

      Gershon Mesika
      Gershon Mesika
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Gershon Mesika, responded Sunday to accusations by hareidi politicians, that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria had been placed on the list of national priority areas, at the expense of hareidi cities.

      "The claim that settlements received preference at the expense of the hareidi cities is cheap demagoguery, by people who are trying, again and again, to bring about an ongoing dispute between the hareidi and religious Zionist sectors,” Mesika said.

      He was responding to angry accusations by MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) and other hareidi politicians, after the government removed Betar Illit and the planned city of Harish from the list of comunities that receive certain taxation discounts and other benefits.

      Porush said that this was “a continuation of the chain of crimes committed by the current evil government,” and accused Bayit Yehudi of “providing support, and perhaps even direction.”

      Mesika added that among the communities taken off the national piorities list were at least three setttlements from Judea and Samaria, even though these communities “are at the front line and are serving the state there.”