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Israel’s Education Ministry gave millions to group that funds illegal outposts

Right-wing activists in Homesh [Twitter]
Right-wing activists in Homesh [Twitter]

Israel’s Education Ministry “gave millions of shekels in recent years to an association funding an illegal outpost” being established in the same site as Homesh, a settlement dismantled in 2005.

According to Haaretz, “an illegal outpost called Homesh Yeshiva has been repeatedly built on the site over the years”, with temporary structures “eventually cleared” by occupation officials.

The paper added that “after the most recent evaluation of the community’s religious study hall, the association, Midreshet Ma’amakim, launched a crowdfunding project for a return to the site”, with some 50,000 shekels ($14,000) “raised so far”.

Midreshet Ma’amakim’s operations are funded by the government “to the tune of millions of shekels annually”; the Education Ministry allocated some 8.5 million shekels ($2.4 million) in 2017, seven million shekels ($1.9 million) in 2016 and 6.2 million shekels ($1.7 million) a year each in 2014 and in 2015.

READ: Israel plans settlement expansion that ‘would surround Bethlehem’

The crowdfunding page states that “the permanent and continual presence in Homesh and the expansion of the yeshiva led to building a Torah study centre that will serve as protection against the sun and rain.”

Lior Amihai, of human rights NGO Yesh Din, told Haaretz: “The place remains a hostage of a violent and illegal yeshiva, which prevents Palestinian farmers and landowners from reaching the place.”

“Now it turns out that the Education Ministry enable the presence of the yeshiva by funding an association that fundraises for it. Yesh Din…will continue to work to get rid of the illegal invaders.”

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