07/11/2016, 11.07
ISRAEL - PALESTINE
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Israel allocates $ 13 million for West Bank settlements

The government approved the distribution, within three years,$ 12.8 million for the settlements of Kiryat Arba and Hebron. They will be used to for social, educational and security projects. Yesterday hundreds of settlers marched to denounce Palestinian attacks.

 

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Israeli government has released nearly $ 13 million for the settlements of Kiryat Arba and Hebron, in the occupied territories in the West Bank. The initiative was announced amid widespread fanfare in an official government statement yesterday that the goal is to "strengthen" the settlements in response to a series of Palestinian attacks in the area.

The funds - $ 12.8 million in total - will be distributed over three years and will cover interventions in social services, education and security for the colonies.

In recent days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had somehow anticipated the measure, noting that "the administrative offices" have promoted all possible efforts "to help residents to heroically face a brutal terrorism."

Already in June the executive, the first proponent of the colonies and their development, had announced the distribution of 70 million shekels (16 million euro) to an unspecified group of settlements.

Yesterday, hundreds of settlers marched in protest around the Palestinian village of Tarama and Othniel colony, south of Hebron, to denounce the attacks (stabbings) unleashed recently by Palestinian citizens.

Kiryat Arba is the area where, a Palestinian recently stabbed to death a 13 year old Israeli girl while she slept in her home in a settlement, which is close to Hebron (the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank) where several hundred Jewish settlers live .
Israel's expansionist policy has been been the target of the Middle East Quartet, a body consisting of the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia. A recent report by the leaders of the group called on Israel to take "urgent measures" to stop the expansion of settlements in the Palestinian territories.

In response, Israeli official sources said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the plan for the construction of 800 new housing units in the territories.

To date at least 570 thousand Israelis live in over 100 settlements built by Israel since 1967, when teh area was divided into the Territories in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. International law considers these  settlementsillegal; a position disputed by the Israeli government, which in recent years has strengthened its expansionist policy.

Peace talks between the two sides broke down in 2014, triggering an escalation of violence in the region.

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