Peace Now
Peace NowFlash 90

Extreme leftist group Peace Now has accused the Interior Ministry of granting Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria an unprecedented amount of government funding on Sunday, stating in a report that the state granted "settlements" 3.5 times the money granted to Israeli cities and towns within 1949 Armistice Lines. 

The Interior Ministry said in response that the grants and budgets are given to local authorities according to standards established based on specific criteria and based on government decisions.

It added that regional councils in areas of greater danger from terrorism, such as Judea-Samaria, are entitled to special security budgets at the government's discretion. 

Year of the frozen funds

If true, the report could reflect the government's decision to unfreeze funds to Judea-Samaria after months of political waffling from former Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid). 

Lapid had frozen the transfers, which constituted normative funds for security and other local matters, to the regional councils for months over claims of a "lack of transparency" regarding how they were being used. 

For Lapid, the recent freeze that was lifted is far from his first. In February, the Yesh Atid party head took similar measures against the residents of Judea and Samaria, and did the same two months later - when roughly 563 million shekels ($162,173,276) earmarked for the Housing Ministry were cut until further notice. 

As such, it is possible that more transfers were made to Judea and Samaria Regional Councils in 2014 than in years past - due to the fact that other areas of Israel regularly receive their funding on time from the sitting government. 

2014 also saw an unprecedented crackdown on terrorism in Judea and Samaria as well, prompting high defense expenses, after the abduction and murder of Israeli teens Naftali Frenkel, Eyal Yifrah, and Gilad Sha'ar in June.