Cabinet to Give Judea and Samaria Additional Budget
The Cabinet is expected to approve an addition to the budget of the regional authority governing bodies in Judea and Samaria next Sunday.
The move comes in response to the security situation in the region, reports Yedioth Aharonoth, indicating the search for three Israeli teens who were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists last Thursday.
The additional budget will consist of five million shekels (around $1.5 million), and is designed to preserve and improve the social and civilian condition of Judea and Samaria residents' lives.
Funding the development of the region has been particularly problematic under Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who has at times cut funding completely for the region.
Several moves have been taken by the government to address the severe lack of development of basic infrastructure needs in Judea and Samaria since the kidnapping; the three youths were abducted by terrorists while waiting to hitchhike.
Hitchhiking has become an unavoidable way of life for residents of the area given the lack of public transportation. Car travel is too expensive for many families, due to both a 150% sales tax on new vehicles in Israel, and gas prices topping 7.66 shekel per liter ($6.50 per gallon).
One attempt to address the issue was taken on Tuesday, when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered the allocation of four million shekels (roughly $1.15 million) to finance transportation to yeshiva high schools and girls' high schools in Judea and Samaria.
Additionally, the Ministry of Transport on Tuesday instituted night buses to run in over 70 towns and cities across Israel every night during summer vacation, in another apparent bid to prevent more kidnappings.