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Israel's Culture Ministry funds settlers 'squatting illegally' in Palestinian home

August 14, 2018 at 1:20 pm

Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev [Facebook]

Israel’s Culture Ministry has been funding a Jewish religious institute “whose founders illegally took over a Palestinian home in the central West Bank”, reported the Times of Israel.

According to the report, “an investigation into the financials of the Mishpetei Eretz (‘laws of the land’) institute revealed that it has received at least NIS 200,000 ($54,786) annually for the past three years from the Culture Ministry.”

In total, the settlement-based academy has received 781,617 shekels ($214,039) in government funding since 2015.

The state funds have come “despite a 2013 Jerusalem District Court decision concluding that the compound housing the institute still belongs to its original Palestinian owners, and that the settler group claiming to have purchased the building had forged the necessary documents.”

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The Israeli army, meanwhile, has not tried “to remove the squatters”, but instead, has “built a fence around the compound with the stated goal of protecting its Israeli inhabitants.”

“We see here another example that reveals the corrupt system that Israel maintains in the West Bank,” the Kerem Navot settlement watchdog said.

Rather than enforce the law, and evict and punish the settlers who invaded the property, the IDF [army] issued a corrupt military order based on security needs that de facto enables them to stay there.

In a Facebook post summarising the story, Kerem Navot further slammed Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev for “subsidising criminals”.