Ayelet Shaked
Ayelet Shaked Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, who will soon leave office, has changed the criteria for assistance to local authorities so that the communities of Judea and Samaria can benefit from it.

This is a program in the scope of hundreds of millions of shekels and is designed to allow local authorities to compete for budgets for projects they wish to establish in their region.

While in the past the program was only intended for localities of at least 10,000 residents, now the threshold has been lowered to 4,000 and allows authorities in Judea and Samaria to participate in it.

The Interior Ministry explained that "Minister Shaked decided to expand the assistance program for 2022 to allow small municipalities of 4,000-10,000 residents, as well as one cluster of authorities, to participate in the program. The 12 local authorities selected will be added to the 25 authorities that have already begun the program. They will compete in a competitive process for economic development projects."

The Judea and Samaria authorities are now also included in the competition for budgets of the small settlements - to the extent of NIS 22 million - for places like Elkana and Ornit, and also for the cluster of authorities. Larger authorities, such as Ariel, Efrat, and Karnei Shomron, as well as the councils in the Samaria and Mateh Binyamin regions, will complete for much larger budgets.

According to sources in the Interior Ministry, about a quarter of the authorities selected to participate in the program will be from Judea and Samaria - and this is a significant change from the previous decisions.