Finance Minister Yair Lapid has delayed the transfer of NIS 105 million (some $30 million) to settlements in the West Bank, Channel 10 reported Tuesday.
According to the report, Lapid delayed the transfer of funds allotted to the settlements to cover extra security costs as per the Oslo Accords, to supplement financial losses caused to the settlements as a result of the agreement. The aid package compensates the settlements for additional expenses for vehicle protection, settlement security and transportation for school kids.
The funds are ordinarily allocated to the settlements by the interior minister, pending the approval of the finance minister. Lapid has not yet given the green light for sending the funds over the Green Line.
The settlements were expecting Lapid to approve the transfer despite his political objection to the move, but the Finance Ministry assured Channel 10 that it was acting in accordance with “agreements made with the various ministries.”
Lapid has consistently voiced his opposition to investing public funds in the settlements, speaking out against settlement construction and calling for funds and resources to be allocated for middle class housing instead of enterprises that “impede peace talks.”