Israel’s new Minister of Tourism, Haim Katz, vowed on Sunday to promote tourism investment in illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank, the Times of Israel has reported.
“We will invest in areas that perhaps did not receive enough attention thus far, including our local ‘Tuscany’ in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank],” the Likud minister said. The minister’s remarks came during a handover ceremony with his predecessor, Yesh Atid’s Yoel Razvozov.
Katz reiterated the importance of his ministry’s role in improving the economy and promoting Israel as a tourism destination. The occupied West Bank, of course, is not “Israel” or part of it. All of the state’s settlements for Jewish immigrants are illegal under international law.
“The goal is to reach new heights. All budget allowances will be implemented. We will not be returning any funds to the Treasury,” he explained. “We will work to improve infrastructure and expand the supply of accommodation options. Every Israeli family should enjoy the beauty of Israel and be able to find a place to be hosted, according to their personal financial ability.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swore in his new coalition government last Thursday, including several extreme far-right ministers. Many outgoing ministers held handover ceremonies with their successors on Sunday.