The Israeli government will subsidise hotels in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, as part of a plan to attract more tourists to the area.
According to an article in Arutz Sheva, citing a report by Israel Hayom, Israel's Tourism Ministry "will aid entrepreneurs who want to invest in building or expanding hotels in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank]".
The entrepreneurs can now apply for a grant of up to 20 per cent of their intended investment.
Israel Hayom reported that a meeting held earlier this year between senior settler officials and the managers of Israeli travel agencies in the occupied West Bank "showed that the number of guest units is insufficient, causing tourists to avoid staying in the area for more than a day".
According to the report, the government grants "are intended to encourage investors to open additional guest units in [illegal settlements in] Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley [the occupied West Bank]".
Settler leader (Yesha Council chair) Hananel Dorani stated: "We thank [Tourism] Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) for his important work on the issue of tourism in Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley."
"Building hotels and guest houses in the area is an important step which shows the deepening of our roots in the ground and paves the way for Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria," he added.
"Giving grants for the creation of hotels is another supplemental step which will help solve the problem of where to sleep and will strengthen settlements and our hold on Judea and Samaria."