The leader of the local authorities, Hayim Bibas, announced a strike of the local authorities that will take place tomorrow (Monday) between 8:00 and 10:00, in protest of the budget not being transferred to the Arab authorities due to the decision of the Minister of Finance, Bezalel Smotrich.
"The local authorities fully stand in solidarity with the Arab local authorities and will observe a strike tomorrow between 8:00 and 10:00 as a sign of unity," Bibas said at the education conference of the Local Authorities Center in Baqa al-Gharbiya. He further warned, "If we reach September 1st in the same situation, we will consider our next steps. We stand up for budgets for the periphery and the sector. When something doesn't smell right, we must be present."
As a reminder, last month, Smotrich announced his decision to freeze the transfer of a budget amounting to 200 million shekels to the Arab local authorities. He claimed that the source of this particular budget is from the previous government, which had committed to it under former Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to the Ra'am party led by Mansour Abbas. Following widespread criticism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the funds would be transferred after a committee's examination ensures that the money does not reach criminal organizations.
"Arab citizens of Israel are entitled to what every citizen is entitled to, and I am committed to that," said Netanyahu. "This is my demand from all government ministries – and it will be done after an examination ensures that the funds indeed reach their intended recipients – the Arab citizens of Israel."
From the Prime Minister's Office, it was conveyed that "the funds for the Arab authorities in Israel will be transferred after examination and supervision to ensure they reach their appropriate destination – the Arab citizens of Israel and nowhere else. Prime Minister Netanyahu's policy is to enable development and prosperity for all Israeli citizens, Arabs and Jews alike, and the evidence shows that governments led by Netanyahu have invested more in the Arab citizens of Israel than any of the other Israeli governments, combined."