Cabinet blocks Netanyahu on benefits for PA Arabs

Netanyahu rushes to approve new road, industrial zone for Arabs in Area C, ministers block move.

Ido Ben Porat,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday evening requested the Knesset's Diplomacy-Security Cabinet approve two financial benefits to Palestinian Arabs: the construction of an industrial area in the Arab town of Tulkarm, and the construction of a new road for the Ramallah-area Arab town of Rawabi.

In August, Major General Hanan Schwartz told Arutz Sheva that "We control the Jenin and Tulkarm areas, which are the terrorist capitals of Judea and Samaria. We do a lot of work here to prevent infiltration through the border into Israel, and to significantly reduce the phenomenon of illegal immigration."

Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan received prior notice that Netanyahu would ask the Cabinet to approve these benefits. Dagan spoke to the various ministers, the majority of whom agreed to oppose the benefits.

During the Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu claimed he was "forced" by US pressure to grant the Arabs these benefits. He also claimed the pressure from the US was due to the pressures placed on him by Dagan and other right-wing sources.

When Netanyahu realized the majority of the Cabinet opposed granting the PA these benefits, he decided not to bring them to a vote. A new date for the discussion has been set.

Dagan refused to confirm the reports, but told Arutz Sheva that "we are happy that these suggestions were not voted on. It's a little ridiculous that Jews in Judea and Samaria need to beg for every housing unit, and every permit for a home or industrial zone is a lengthy saga, but meanwhile, the Cabinet rushes to approve more and more building for Arabs in Area C. Someone has become confused."

Area C is the only area of Judea and Samaria where Jews are allowed to live. About 4% of Arabs in all of Judea and Samaria live in Area C. Area A is under Palestinian Authority (PA) control, and Area B is under IDF military control but otherwise governed by the PA . Israeli does not permit Israelis to enter Areas A and B due to the danger to life involved and there are large red signs warning Israeli drivers at any intersection that leads to those areas.