Budget for Security of Judea and Samaria

Security of Judea and Samaria will be Left Behind? Stormy Discussion in the Finance Committee

In light of the difficulties in approving the additional budget for the security components in favor of the settlements of Judea and Samaria, the heads of the settlements came to the finance committee and demanded that the funds be approved: "We demand the protection of the homeland"

(Photo: Noam Moskowitz/Knesset Spokesperson)

The approval of the updated state budget for 2023 is still stuck in the Knesset, among other things because of the issue of the budgeting of the security components for the Judea and Samaria settlements, which is supposed to amount to about 350 million shekels, which is classified as "coalition funds" and raises opposition among some members of the committee and in light of the fact that the budget division of the Ministry of Finance is raising difficulties.

According to one of the solutions, 153 million will enter through the budget of the Ministry of Defense and another 225 million will go through a separate government decision, through the budgeting of the Ministry of the Interior.

The discussion was attended by many of the heads of the local councils in the settlements, who resented the different treatment they receive, compared to the reinforcement of the security measures budgeted for the settlements of the conflict line in the south and north.

Shlomo Ne'eman, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council and chairman of the Yesha Council, said at the meeting: "I want to say that just as you said that you are elected officials, we are also elected officials, and these are our residents who elected us the same way the public elected you. Half a million of our residents are on the front line and thanks to them, Nukhba didn't attack Kfar Saba, and all the localities in the area. It doesn't make sense for us to beg, we haven't received a shekel since the beginning of the war, we bought helmets ourselves. So the Minister of Finance brought a proposal and we ask that the Knesset members here from the right and the left take responsibility for our citizens who are citizens of the entire country, and not vote on the budget before we receive the necessary measures to protect our settlements."

Finance Committee (Photo: Noam Moskowitz/Knesset Spokesperson)

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, also criticized the delay in the funds: "We came here with a great sense of shame, I think it is a shame for the State of Israel that our security elements that are meant to save our residents are being dictated by bureaucrats, which amounts to transferring coalition funds. The blood of my residents is no less red than the blood of the residents of Afula and Zar'it. They literally drink our blood, my residents voluntarily went on Simchat Torah, took guns from civilians and dead soldiers, and killed terrorists in Re'im and in Nir-Am and died there, and the terrorists say they want to go to my settlements and to Kfar Saba and slaughter people there. I want to say two things. Nobody is doing us a favor, our blood is as red as the people there, and we deserve to receive budgets just like they do."

The settlement of Revava in Samaria (Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

A bunch of people are sitting here disconnected because the proposal that they are asking you to vote on now in this budget proposal does not include the budget for the security of Judea and Samaria at all. I want to say that I don't think you are disconnected, but that most of the people sitting here do not know the context of Judea and Samaria at the moment in the state budget, there is no security for Judea and Samaria at all, I say to the members of the Knesset that anyone who is a decent person would never think of voting regarding the wartime budget of the residents of the north, it is unthinkable that there is no budget for the security of Judea and Samaria in the state budget."

The head of the Binyamin Council, Yisrael Gantz, who also participated in the finance committee discussion, said: "Over eighty percent of the men who live in Binyamin are recruited and are now fighting in the south and the north. They and their families deserve the minimum protection that every citizen deserves. These are security elements that will protect thousands of families. We demand protection of our homes. It is forbidden to vote on the budget without security clearances for Judea and Samaria."

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