Israel funding annexation of West Bank with $190M

Israel funding annexation of West Bank with $190M

'Israeli gov't pouring money into settlements, perpetuating occupation, and fueling conflict,' says Peace Now group

By Abdelraouf Arnoaut

JERUSALEM (AA) – The Israeli government led by Premier Benjamin Netanyahu is financing the annexation of lands in the West Bank by allocating an additional budget of $190 million.

This was revealed in a Thursday report titled “Funding Annexation: Additional 700 Million NIS Earmarked for Settlements in 2023-2024,” released by Peace Now, an Israeli settlement monitoring movement.

The report stated that the Israeli government prepared a plan for an unprecedented investment of about 700 million shekels and possibly more (about $190 million) in the West Bank settlements.

“According to the draft document we received, the scope of the plan is 671.63 million NIS (around $190m) from the 2023-2024 budget, but there are clauses that have not yet determined the allocation amounts, so the total amount is expected to increase significantly,” the NGO said.

A sum of 92 million NIS ($24 million) is marked as an undefined grant, allowing settlements to use the money for almost any purpose, the group stated.

The NGO criticized the move, saying: “Instead of investing in Israel’s future, the Israeli government is pouring money into settlements, perpetuating the occupation, and fueling the conflict and confrontation with the Palestinians.”

Estimates indicate that about 700,000 Israeli settlers are living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the occupied West Bank.

Under international law, all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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