Israeli minister freezes funds intended for Arab sectors

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich. (File photo: Jordan News)
JERUSALEMIsraeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich ignored an appeal from the Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi to release the 200 million Shekels (JD38,423,501) earmarked for the Arab sector, citing national security concerns.اضافة اعلان

The money, which was passed by the previous government and a remainder from the previous Netanyahu government, is intended to help resolve the issue of a lack of education in the Arab sector, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Hanegbi’s message included a security recommendation that shows that an increase of education in east Jerusalem has led to a reduction of terrorism in the city. As a result, he said, Smotrich should release the funds.

Smotrich’s response
Smotrich replied by saying, “These funds are frozen until there is an inspection and oversight mechanisms in place.”

His office added in a statement to the public that, “the Arab authorities receive the grant designed to help weaken authorities just like any other authority in the State of Israel and based on equal criteria. There isn't and has never been any justification in the world to favor the Arab authorities even more and give only them a special grant that the weak authorities in the Jewish sector do not receive, apart from a political demand by Abbas who wanted to make political capital on the state budget and bribe his voters in the Arab sector.”

Mansour Abbas, the leader and representative of the United Arab List, replied by saying that the Arab authorities are in dire need of these funds, and lack the most resources out of any authority in the state, "Without this money, we will feel it directly. Waste removal and the ability to provide services to the Arab communities, 130 communities, will be affected. This will lead to the collapse of the local authorities. They want to return to the saga in which the central government manages the local government?"

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