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Israel increases settlement spending by 38 per cent

February 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Official government statistics show that spending by the Israeli government on illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories increased by 38 per cent in 2010 and 2011. The figures were reported by Dmitry Dliani, a member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, who told Palestinian Authority media outlets that this amounts to around $400,000,000. That figure does not include settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. “The amount spent on each settler by the Israeli government is more than it spends on its citizens inside Israel itself,” he added.

“These figures reflect the official direct spending,” explained Dliani, “but Netanyahu and his government use around a third of all tax revenue in Israel to pay for infrastructure to serve West Bank settlements, including synagogues and religious schools.” The government statistics show that such expenditure amounted to around $7 billion in 2010 and 2011.

The Fatah official alleged that this increased spending on illegal projects is in part funded by support received by Israel from international bodies like the European Union. “As such, EU money is being used directly and indirectly to fund illegal settlement activity.”

Dliani warned that Israeli government spending on settlement in the occupied West Bank during the current and next year is also expected to increase as Prime Minister Netanyahu responds to the far-right agenda of his coalition partners who support the settlement movement financially, militarily and politically.