Dagan and Amsalem on a tour of Samaria
Dagan and Amsalem on a tour of Samaria Credit: Roi Chadi

Communications Minister Dudi Amsalem (Likud) instructed his general manager to include Judea and Samaria in the localities which will be serviced by the telecommunications company HOT.

On Monday, the Universal Deployment Commission of the Communications Ministry published its recommendation that the services of HOT be extended to the periphery in Israel. According to the recommendations, 220 localities that have not yet been connected to the company's television and internet network will be connected by HOT. Judea and Samaria communities were not included in this framework.

The head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan addressed a letter to Communications Minister David Amsalem on Monday, with an unequivocal demand not to exclude residents of Judea and Samaria and to include them within the committee's recommendations.

Following the Ministry's decision, Dagan said, "I thank the Communications Minister for his clear statement. You cannot help seeing the discrimination screaming to the heavens when Judah and Samaria residents are again left out in the first phase as opposed to the 220 localities which will already receive [HOT] services in the near future."

"The 10% of Israeli residents living in Judea and Samaria are also entitled to benefit from the breaking of the monopoly, the lowering of prices and quality and reliable underground communication. The excuse that it is far away doesn't hold water as it is clear to all that the communities in Judea and Samaria are closer to the center of the country than the residents of the southern Negev and the Middle Arava," Dagan added.

Dagan also made an additional request from Amsalem, "I ask the Minister of Communications, who is a Zionist leader and a decent person, to immediately freeze the committee's recommendations for a few days until comprehensive plans for inclusion of Judea and Samaria communities in HOT services are consolidated. We want to see clear actions which counter the discrimination and send a clear message that the entire state of Israel is one. Tel Aviv and the Negev, Raanana and Samaria - are all one.