Knesset okays NIS 45 million for armored West Bank buses

The Knesset Finance Committee approves the transfer of NIS 45 million ($12.8 million) for bulletproof buses for West Bank roads.

While the money had been earmarked as part of the 2018 budget, the transfer had been delayed for months, leading Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev to issue a threat on Sunday that he would not vote with the coalition until the money was transferred.

“This budget will save lives of students and other passengers in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), as we unfortunately witnessed last night in a shooting attack on a bus in Samaria,” says Yogev referring to a bulletproof bus transferring Israeli students that was shot at outside of the Beit El settlement.

The approval comes a month after the conclusion of an aggressive campaign led by settler leaders to transfer an NIS 800 million ($228 million) security package for West Bank roads and infrastructure development. The campaign drove a wedge between settler leaders, but concluded in a written agreement signed by the prime minister in which he agreed to immediately transfer NIS 200 million for the Qalandiya and Beit Aryeh bypass roads and to transfer an additional NIS 600 million in January 2018 for other security improvements.

— Jacob Magid

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