Government to pledge NIS 40 million for settlement security
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Government to pledge NIS 40 million for settlement security

Netanyahu says funding will be ‘part of maintaining the life and safety of each and every one of our brothers’ in the West Bank

(From L-R) Jordan Valley Regional Council chairman David Elhayani, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and cabinet secretary Tzachi Braverman applaud after the government authorized the legalization of the Mevo'ot Yericho outpost at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Jordan Valley Regional Council, September 15, 2019 (Haim Tzach/GPO)
(From L-R) Jordan Valley Regional Council chairman David Elhayani, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and cabinet secretary Tzachi Braverman applaud after the government authorized the legalization of the Mevo'ot Yericho outpost at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Jordan Valley Regional Council, September 15, 2019 (Haim Tzach/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged tens of millions of shekels for West Bank settlements on Thursday evening, with the interim cabinet set to green-light the security funding early next week.

Speaking to leaders of the Yesha Council settlement umbrella group, Netanyahu said the government on Sunday will approve over NIS 40 million ($11.5 million) for security and emergency response stations in the West Bank.

“We are continuing to strengthen the settlement movement and help it,” Netanyahu said during the meeting, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. “They won’t uproot us from here.”

The funding will include NIS 34.5 million ($10 million) for settlements’ security needs, and NIS 5.5 million ($1.5 million) for the Magen David Adom ambulance service in the West Bank.

Ministers will also earmark another NIS 3.6 million ($1 million) for psychological counseling centers, the PMO said.

The funding, Netanyahu said, will be “part of maintaining the life and safety of each and every one of our brothers” in the West Bank.

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli soldiers in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near the West Bank city of Nablus on July 19, 2019. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

Netanyahu on Thursday also praised security forces for demolishing the West Bank homes of four Palestinian men accused of murdering a yeshiva student in an August terror attack.

The military said it demolished the four homes in the southern West Bank town of Beit Kahil in the predawn hours of Thursday morning after legal appeals by the families of the suspects were refused by the High Court of Justice.

“We demolished the houses of the vile murderers of Dvir Sorek, of blessed memory,” Netanyahu said in the statement, vowing “to hurt those who harm us.”

David Elhyani, a Netanyahu ally and recently elected head of settler umbrella body, was quoted in the statement as praising the prime minister for again having “proved your loyalty, your determination and your persistence in developing settlements in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley.”

Netanyahu has made outreach to settlers and their supporters a core component of his reelection campaign, vowing in September to annex the Jordan Valley.

Israel appears poised to call a third election in under a year, after inconclusive national votes in April and September failed to yield a governing coalition.

Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the US was softening its position on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, saying it would not automatically view them as illegal under international law.

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