Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is rushing through his plan to expand West Bank settlements and legalize dozens of outposts, in the wake of a series of deadly terror attacks, Channel 12 reports.
Smotrich sends a letter to ministers today, informing them of his intent to bring the plan to the cabinet on Monday, the report says. He encourages them to submit any comments or additional plans of their own.
The far-right minister is reportedly advancing a plan to legalize 155 wildcat outposts throughout the West Bank, capitalizing on his control of both the Finance Ministry as well as settlement affairs within the Defense Ministry.
The plan is said to map out all of Israel’s illegal outposts beyond the Green Line, with the goal of eventually legalizing all of them. To legalize the outposts built on private Palestinian land, Smotrich aims either to have them transferred to what Israel views as state land or to apply alternative legal mechanisms that would allow them to remain in place.
He also plans to allocate $180 million to settlements and outposts.
The money includes millions for services like health, education, and youth clubs, but also large amounts for promoting and expanding Israel’s civilian footprint in the West Bank, including NIS 92 million ($24 million) in discretionary funding to be used at will, according to settlement watchdog Peace Now, which said it received an advance copy of the proposal.