Knesset Finance Committee Chairman, MK Nisan Slomiansky (Jewish Home), rejected on Sunday the claims made by Labor MK Stav Shafir, that the Knesset had transferred 600 million shekels to the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, in the course of its winter session.
"MK Stav Shafir is either not telling the truth, or she doesn't understand – and I don't know which is worse,” said Slomiansky. “Like a parrot, she repeats and recycles things. Shafir's basic assumption is that everything that passes through the Settlement Department [of the Defense Ministry] goes to Judea and Samaria. I wish the state would have transferred 600 million to Judea and Samaria. I think there are maybe 40 million shekels [for Judea and Samaria], and a large part of that – 26 million – went to the community of Beit El as compensation following the eviction at the Ulpana Neighborhood, in accordance with the Prime Minister's promise.”
MK Shafir launched a scathing attack on the Israeli government on Saturday night, over its investment in Judea and Samaria.
Shafir said that she had investigated the requests for changes in the budget during the Knesset's winter session and found that 598.8 million shekels were transferred to Judea and Samaria. This money, she claimed, came at the expense of funds earmarked to building in other areas in Israel.
The funds transferred, said Shafir, include 36 million shekels in compensation for the 2009 construction freeze, 24 million shekels for investment in bringing young Israelis to live in Judea and Samaria, and 28 million for completion of construction in Beit El, among other things.
“These are hundreds of millions of shekels which were not included in the budget that was approved just last July, and were brought before the Finance Committee as requests for changes in the budget, even though in most cases these ‘changes’ were known in advance,” she charged. “For example, compensation for the 2009 construction freeze has been awarded to local authorities in Judea and Samaria every year since 2010 as per a government decision, and yet this was is not included in the budget.”
Shafir accused the government of deliberately hiding these sums from the public, saying these budget changes reveal the true priorities of the government.