An official report released on Thursday warned that the Israeli schemes to be implemented in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Occupied Jerusalem threaten the Palestinian presence there.
The report issued by the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department and entitled “Forced displacement of the residents of Sheikh Jarrah” explained that Israeli authorities force Palestinian families in the neighborhood to evacuate their homes.
Located to the north of the Old City of Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah is home to about 3,000 Palestinian citizens and some important organizations including Beit al-Sharq, the PLO headquarters which was closed by Israeli authorities in 2003, the Palestinian National Theater, and a number of headquarters of diplomatic missions.
According to the report, Israeli authorities often force Palestinian families to evacuate their homes late at night to intimidate and terrorize the inhabitants.
The International Criminal Court considers forced displacement a war crime and a crime against humanity especially when it is carried out in a widespread and systematic manner against civilians.
The report noted that the Israeli seizure of Palestinian property and settlers’ harassment of Palestinians on a daily basis contribute to the creation of a scenario similar to that in al-Khalil where a small number of settlers control the movement of the bigger majority of the Palestinian population.
It explained that the Israeli policies pursued in Occupied Jerusalem have emerged since 1967 based on two central strategies: the first is to establish a Jewish majority in the city by building Jewish-only settlements, while the second seeks to achieve the same goal by limiting the Palestinian population growth through policies aimed at expelling Palestinians from Jerusalem or obstructing the development of the Palestinian society.
These strategies, the report underlined, include a spatial separation policy which goal is to isolate neighborhoods from one another and thus weaken the Palestinian presence in the city.
As part of the first strategy, Israeli authorities, in cooperation with settlement associations, work to establish settlement outposts in strategic areas in the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, particularly Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in an attempt to create geographical communication between West Jerusalem and the Hebrew University in East Jerusalem.
The report stressed that these settlement outposts, which are inhabited by extremist Jewish groups, are illegal under international law.
The fact that an obnoxious, racist and sexist columnist wrote something for the Sunday Times is not exactly news. Last month, though, one of them, Kevin Myers, came out with something that caused such an online backlash that he ended up losing his cushy little gig there.
In a column for the paper’s Irish edition, Myers wrote a boring screed against women’s equality in pay. In the course of that article, he wrote that “Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price.” He noted that two of the best paid women presenters at the BBC, Claudia Winkelman and Vanessa Feltz, “are Jewish. Good for them.”
In doing so, Myers invoked – no doubt deliberately, in order to stoke that most tedious form of unit-shifting, “controversy” – one of the oldest anti-Semitic stereotypes of all: that of the money-grabbing Jew.
Myers no doubt saw no problem in such a disgustingly dehumanising statement, having being enabled over the years by his editors at various papers, who have allowed him to publish articles with such charming titles as “There was no holocaust” and “Africa is giving nothing to anyone – apart from AIDS”.
As I say, Myers ended up losing his column with the Sunday Times. The paper’s editors said he would never write for them again. Enquiring minds might ask which of those editors approved the column in the first place.
However, Myers did have a few people springing to his defence, despite his anti-Semitism. With a predictability that has become routine for those of us who follow these things, he was defended by some Zionists on the perverse basis that he could not be anti-Semitic because he is a supporter of Israel. This is a complete fallacy, but still common.
Myers himself “denied he was motivated by anti-Semitism and said he was a friend of the Jewish people and of Israel,” despite the blatantly anti-Semitic nature of his statement. The Jewish Council of Ireland defended him, saying that “his previous record showed great support for Jews and Israel.”
Support also came from Jonathan Hoffman, a blogger for the Times of Israel and serial Zionist-fanatic heckler who regularly turns up at pro-Palestinian events in London to disrupt, intimidate and harangue critics of Israeli policies. Hoffman claimed that Myers was “paying the two presenters a compliment… there is evidence that Jews are good negotiators. So how can it be anti-Semitic to say so?”
To be fair, not all Zionists (#NotAllZionists) defended Myers, although the general trend among partisans of Israel is very much to excuse, ignore, elide or even exacerbate the anti-Semitism on their own side. Indeed, as I have written before, Zionism is, at its core, a fundamentally anti-Semitic ideology. Both neo-Nazis and Zionists agree: Jews should leave their home countries and become settlers in Palestine. As supporters of Palestinian rights, of course, we should oppose both. As Yasser Arafat once famously put it, Zionism is “united with anti-Semitism in its retrograde tenets and is, when all is said and done, another side of the same base coin.”
Jews who support Palestinian rights, and are active in the solidarity movement, are routinely abused in the most appallingly anti-Semitic terms, by Zionists. They are called “court Jews” and “Kapos” (rather like saying that they are “Uncle Toms”); or even wished “back into the ovens”, or that “Hitler had finished you off.” All this disgusting stuff is fairly routine from Zionists. And it goes right to the top too.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently appeared via video link at the conference of Christians United for Israel. There, he preened over its leader and founder Pastor John Hagee, one of America’s most vile anti-Semites. However, because of Hagee’s role in rallying the US evangelical right-wing’s support for Israel, Netanyahu called him his “long-standing friend… through thick or thin” and hailed the role of CUFI.
Hagee once preached in a sermon that “Hitler was a hunter” sent by God, and that the Holocaust was divinely ordained to chase the Jews “back to the land of Israel.” Vicious stuff, but perfectly in tune with Zionism.
For too long Zionists have been able to get away with this kind of poison, even while having the chutzpah to accuse all critics of Israeli war crimes and apartheid of anti-Semitism at every turn. It’s time to start pushing back.
HEBRON (Ma’an) — A group of Israeli settlers from the infamously extremist Kiryat Arba settlement in the southern occupied West Bank threw rocks at several Palestinian homes in Hebron city on Friday night — the latest in a marked increase of settler attacks on Palestinians in the district.
Jamal Seifan, a resident of the area, said that Israeli settlers threw rocks at his house and houses belonging to Said Daana, Jamil Seifan, and Abd al-Hay Seifan.
Seifin added that rock-throwing at Palestinian homes and assaults committed by settlers on Palestinians in the neighborhoods of Jaber, Wadi al-Nasara, and al-Salaymeh in Hebron city have seen a sharp increase in recent weeks, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays during Shabbat.
The attacks, Seifin said, were all carried out “under the eyes of the Israeli police and soldiers,” who have consistently failed to protect the local Palestinians.
An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in violation of international law.
According to UN documentation, there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2016, with 81 attacks being reported since the beginning of 2017.
Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.
Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years, according to Israeli NGO Yesh Din.
Meanwhile, Palestinians allegedly or actually committing any attacks on Israelis are often shot dead at the scene, in what rights groups have deemed “extrajudicial executions,” or face long prison sentences.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli border police shot and killed a Palestinian teenager at Israel’s Zaatara military checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank on Saturday afternoon, with Israeli authorities alleging the youth attempted to carry out a knife attack on Israeli forces when he was shot.
While initial reports suggested that an 18-year-old Israeli soldier was lightly injured after being stabbed by the Palestinian, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri later said that the border police officer was in fact lightly wounded by friendly fire.
Israel’s emergency medical service Magen David Adom reported that the MDA and Israeli army medics treated the Israeli soldier, an 18-year-old male who was in a mild condition.
Al-Samri said that the alleged assailant, a 17-year-old Palestinian, had approached border guard forces stationed at the Nablus-area checkpoint, “and when they saw he was carrying a bag in his hand, they started undertake procedures to arrest him.”
The youth then allegedly brandished a knife “and started to battle an officer before other officers fired at him and neutralized him, and he was announced dead on the scene.” She released a statement shortly after saying the Palestinian was still alive but in a critical condition. Minutes later, a further statement confirmed he had succumbed to his injuries.
The Israeli police spokeswoman also provided a photo of the knife allegedly found on the youth, identified by local sources as Qutayba Yousif Zahran from Illar village in the Tulkarem district.
“A border guard police officer was taken to a hospital after he was hit by shrapnel in the foot,” al-Samri said, presumably referring to Israeli friendly fire.
An eyewitness told Ma’an that a large number of Israeli soldiers arrived to the scene and closed the checkpoint, denying passage to Palestinians in either direction.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An unidentified Palestinian “youth” was shot in the chest by Israeli forces with live ammunition near the Israeli-Gaza border on Friday, according to local sources.
According to locals in Gaza, Israeli forces stationed at military watchtowers on the border line east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at a group of Palestinian youths “as they approached the border fence,” causing the injury of one youth in his chest with a live bullet.
The injured youth was transferred to the Indonesian hospital in Beit Lahiya, where he was reportedly stabilized.
Sources added that Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at the youths as well.
Clashes also erupted in several other areas of the Gaza Strip, with locals reporting clashes near the Nahal Oz military post near northern Gaza, east of al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, and east of Khan Yunis and Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces fired live ammunition and tear gas canisters at Palestinians in all locations, according to locals.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that on Friday afternoon “violent riots” broke out in several areas along the Israel-Gaza border, where “tens of Palestinians rolled burning tires and threw rocks at the security fence and Israeli forces stationed at the border.”
“In response to these riots, soldiers fired selectively to main instigators,” the spokesperson said, adding that the army was “aware of reports” of one injury.
A 16-year-old Palestinian was killed in June by Israeli forces during clashes along the border east of the Bureij refugee camp during clashes that injured at least seven Palestinians, four of whom were injured with live ammunition.
Clashes typically erupt in the “buffer zone” along the Israeli-Gaza border on Fridays, between Palestinian youth who throw stones and Israeli forces who fire live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.
The United Nations and numerous human rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians during clashes, in incidents that did not warrant a violent response.
This video shows Israeli occupation forces bringing terror and violence inside East Jerusalem’s Al-Makassed hospital.
At one point, Israeli occupation forces tried to seize a critically wounded man who was being taken to surgery.
The video shows medics and civilians attempting to protect the man, Muhammad Abu Ghanam, from being seized. But the 20-year-old died about 20 minutes after the commotion.
The video was published on Sunday by the human rights group B’Tselem, along with a harrowing report on the 21 July Israeli raid.
The assault was part of Israel’s violent reaction to the campaign of civil disobedience and protests by Jerusalemites last month against Israeli moves to tighten control over the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Abu Ghanam was one of the six Palestinians killed by Israeli forces during protests related to al-Aqsa.
Maternity ward raided
“Words fail to convey the gravity of the police’s conduct inside the hospital,” B’Tselem said, according to Days of Palestine.
“The fright engendered by scores of armed police raiding a hospital cannot be downplayed. When these feelings of terror are accompanied by an assault on medical staff and interference with medical care, the situation escalates to one of a real risk to the lives of the many patients in the hospital.”
B’Tselem’s report includes testimonies from medical staff describing dozens of heavily armed Israeli personnel raiding the hospital. They forced their way in, attacking security guards and civilians, who tried to defend the facility, with stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets.
The Israelis kicked people out of the blood bank, where dozens of volunteers were trying to donate desperately needed blood. They raided the maternity ward, including a room where a mother was present, and sprayed pepper spray into another that was empty. Staff gathered most of the mothers in one room and took their babies to the nursery to protect them.
Israeli forces blocked ambulance
Abu Ghanam had been involved in confrontations between Jerusalem youths and occupation forces in the al-Tur neighborhood when he was shot in the chest.
Israeli forces stood around him for five to 10 minutes without providing any medical assistance, according to B’Tselem. Then, when a Red Crescent ambulance arrived, Israeli forces tried to obstruct it. But, the paramedics were able to reach Abu Ghanam and get him into the ambulance – which one of the Israeli soldiers tried to get into as well.
“There was some mutual shoving between one of my colleagues and the two officers for about a minute, and then we got into the ambulance,” one of the medics told B’Tselem. “I locked the ambulance with the central locking system.”
The medics then managed to drive to the hospital, despite Israeli forces trying to block their way.
But, for all the efforts of the medical staff, they could not save Abu Ghanam’s life. After he died, Palestinians managed to smuggle him out of the hospitall and take him for immediate burial, to avoid Israeli forces confiscating his body – a frequent form of collective punishment.
A report last month by Amnesty International called the Israeli assault on the hospital a “ruthless display of force.”
“The conduct of Israeli forces who carried out violent raids on Al-Makassed hospital harassing and intimidating staff and patients is utterly deplorable,” Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said. “There can be no justification for preventing medical workers from caring for a critically wounded patient.”
Israeli forces habitually raid hospitals, even carrying out extrajudicial executions inside them.
The 21 July assault on Al-Makassed hospital, B’Tselem said, “is part of a much larger picture, one in which Israeli authorities repeatedly show the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem just how unwanted they are in their own city and how cheap their lives are.”
Two Israeli settlers attacked, on Thursday, a Palestinian bus driver near the Bat Ayin settlement, in Gush Etzion settlement bloc, southwest of Bethlehem.
Israel’s Channel 7 said, according to the PNN, that the settlers assaulted the Palestinian driver, sprayed him with pepper spray, beat him and tried to damage his car, after they confirmed he was an Arab.
According to the channel, the settlers approached the driver who was standing by his vehicle away from the settlement. The settlers started conversing with him to make sure that he was an Arab, then they sprayed pepper and attacked him, before finally fleeing the scene.
Israeli police claimed that they opened an investigation into the incident, and that they have detained the settlers, whom they said reported were 15 years old.
The Israeli government is compiling a list of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) activists who are not allowed to travel to Israel. Asa Winstanly of the Electronic Intifada talks about the effort to expose this secret list.
SHARMINI PERIES: It’s The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore.Measures by the Israeli authorities against the BDS movement, which is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, continue to intensify. The newly approved law, which was passed in July, bans BDS supporters from entering Israel. The problem with the law, however, is that it is not simple, of course, to ban people based on their thoughts or opinions, so how are they deciding who they are banning? The Minister of Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erden, admitted that his ministry is compiling a list of BDS activists, and indeed, last month a group had been barred from boarding a Lufthansa flight to Israel, because the airline received a list of banned people.Now, Asa Winstanley published a piece in The Electronic Intifada, titled How is Israel Compiling Its BDS Blacklists?, in which he explains the appeal to the Israeli high court to expose the secret lists. Now joining us from London is Asa Winstanley. He is an investigative journalist and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada.Asa, thank you so much for joining us today.
ASA WINSTANLEY: Good to be with you.
SHARMINI PERIES: Asa, tell us about the appeal to the high court and who is Eitay Mack?
ASA WINSTANLEY: Eitay Mack is an Israeli lawyer and human rights activist. Him and a group of colleagues, other activists, Palestine solidarity activists, recently launched a freedom of information request to the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which is Gilad Erden’s ministry, asking for details of how Israel is compiling these BDS blacklists. They have basically stonewalled the request and they’re in the process of trying to pass a law which will exempt them from freedom of information law anyway. So they’ve lodged an appeal with the district court in Jerusalem, trying to overturn this decision and make it required for them to reveal the procedures by which they are not only compiling these lists, but sharing them with entities outside of Israel.
SHARMINI PERIES: All right. Now the group of the interfaith activists, who were forbidden from boarding the Lufthansa flight to Tel Aviv, reported that the Israeli intelligence availed their emails. That’s the only way they could have known that they were BDS campaigners. What makes them think that? How do we know their emails were tampered with or actually monitored?
ASA WINSTANLEY: So the reason that they think this is because, although some of the people on the delegation were well known. Alissa Wise is the Deputy Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, which is a Palestine solidarity group in the U.S. of Jewish activists who are critical of Israel. There were seven names on the list, on the blacklist, on the list of people that the Lufthansa staff read out to the group and they said, “These seven people are not going to be able to board this flight.” Only five of those people were actually on the delegation, who were actually having flights. The other two, who they read out on the blacklist, had never bought tickets. They had never been finally involved. They’d never confirmed their involvement in the delegation. They’d been through the initial stages of registering and then realized they had other plans and had to cancel. So those two people had never had tickets with Lufthansa.There was no way those names could have gotten to Israel apart from somebody hacking into or intercepting the emails of Jewish Voice for Peace and the other two groups involved in this interfaith delegation. That’s what Rabbi Alissa Wise strongly suspects, and it seems credible to me.
SHARMINI PERIES: The Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erden, said that, actually last year, he said that supporting the BDS will no longer be worth it. What does he actually mean by that?
ASA WINSTANLEY: I suppose they want to put what they might call, or Israeli settlers might call, a price tag on it, making it difficult to be involved in BDS activism. They’ve pushed for changes in the law in the U.S. and the U.K. and Europe to make supporting BDS even illegal. There’s this bill that AIPAC has strongly pushed for in the U.S. to make even a federal offense, potentially even jail, to support BDS. It looks like this law is not going to go ahead, but they’re trying to … They see what BDS … the effects that it has and the successes that it has and in raising awareness as well of Palestinian human rights and Israeli violation of Palestinian rights. It’s had enough successes that it’s considered a strategic threat of the first order, according to the President of Israel, he said last year, I believe.Erden’s ministry, the Strategic Affairs Ministry, was started over a decade ago as a semi-covert, or semi-militarized agency, or semi-security ministry. It was initially focused on Iran and combating the Iranian nuclear energy program. As we know, the Israelis were involved in all sorts of covert action against Iran, including indirect support for people who assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists. We know it was involved in the Stuxnet virus, for example, which destroyed several Iranian nuclear centrifuges. But a couple of years ago, this Ministry was refocused on BDS, with the Iran nuclear deal changing matters. They’ve decided their whole focus is going to be BDS. So we can already see the outlines of a covert campaign.
SHARMINI PERIES: I’m a little confused as to how they are actually implement this law in terms of banning people from entering Israel through its borders. Now one could say, for example, a country has a right to ban people that they consider undesirable from entering the country. It’s not unlike, say, having visa restrictions placed and various countries do that. But this particular law also applies to people who are local and Israeli citizens and so forth, and does it, and how do they actually justify that?
ASA WINSTANLEY: Well, for the time being, the law only applies to non-citizens of Israel, but of course, it does apply to Jewish supporters of BDS who are not Israeli citizens. Rabbi Alissa Wise was the first Jewish person that we know of who was banned from the country and of this particular law. Of course, before this law was passed earlier this year, in the spring, Israel was implementing this in practice anyway. But this law kind of makes it more formalized, and so there has been talk … Erden has been pushing to move towards implementing similar measures again Israeli citizens. Obviously he can’t really ban them from the country, but the first steps towards that are he wanted to start creating a database of Israeli supporters of BDS, who there are, some. They’re a minority, obviously, but there are this great number of dissidents who do support BDS, and of course, the Palestinian citizens of Israel.So we already see things like measures against Omar Barghouti, the Palestinian intellectual who was the co-founder of the BDS movement, who’s had movement restrictions placed on him. At one stage there was a ban from him leaving the country. He lives in present day Israel in the north, with his wife, who is a Palestinian citizen of Israel. Because he’s such a prominent personality in the BDS movement, they’ve tried to make life very hard for him.
SHARMINI PERIES: Asa, I should add that Omar Barghouti was awarded the Gandhi Prize at Yale University just recently and he was allowed out to go receive that price, so all of this adds a very complicated element to the ban on BDS activists.I thank you so much for joining us today, Asa, and look forward to any followups you might have in terms of the court case.
ASA WINSTANLEY: Thanks for having me on.
SHARMINI PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
Latin America is once again Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic target, at a time when violence in the region fomented by US imperialism is once again rising to the fore. Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the UN Partition Plan, Netanyahu is planning to visit Mexico and Argentina before addressing the UN General Assembly next month.
Israeli media is reflecting on the historical processes of the Partition Plan, when several Latin American and Caribbean countries voted in favour, giving approval for Israel’s intended colonisation of Palestine. Six countries abstained and Cuba voted against the resolution, with Cuban delegate to the UN Dr Ernesto Dihigo declaring partition to be “contrary to law and justice”, adding: “We have solemnly declared the principle of the free determination of the peoples, but with great concern we see that when the time has come to enforce it we forget it.”
Support for the Partition Plan from other countries, however, still forms a premise for Netanyahu. At a time when political violence is threatening to engulf the region, it comes as little surprise that Netanyahu has envisaged the possibilities of exerting additional influence.
In 2014, while still Mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, now president of Argentina, travelled to Israel for a conference during which he stated: “Israeli suffering has to be understood. From afar it’s easy to give advice, but you have to be in Israel to really understand the situation.” The comments should not come as a surprise from Macri, who last year angered Argentinian victims of the Videla dictatorship by refusing to acknowledge the thousands of murdered and disappeared civilians.
Mexico’s hosting of Netanyahu comes after a call earlier this month made by US President Donald Trump to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. A transcript of the call published by the Washington Post includes Trump’s reference to Israel and Netanyahu over the Apartheid Wall – which Trump wants to construct as border control between the US and Mexico. According to the transcript, Trump stated:
Israel has a wall and everyone said do not build a wall, walls do not work – 99.9 per cent of people trying to come across that wall cannot get across and more. Bibi Netanyahu told me the wall works.
The region’s ties with Israel cannot be disputed particularly at a time when Latin America was colonised, plundered and exploited by the US. Some countries have remained staunch allies of Israel and the US due to their political allegiances which have not changed. Guatemala’s support for the partition of Palestine and its lobbying to enable the passing of the resolution is one such instance and its support for Israel remains referenced to earlier historical ties. Chile under Augusto Pinochet also sustained ties with Israel: repression, surveillance, murder and disappearance of civilians constituting a common ground for the colonial entity and the dictator.
Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia have, in the past years, been the staunchest supporters of Palestine. The deaths of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro have left a political void that is hard to emulate. However, both countries’ experience of US imperialism has instilled in the people an internationalist approach – one that has the potential to lead if other countries follow suit. Brazil’s refusal to accept settler leader Dani Dayan as ambassador last year was step in the right direction – Netanyahu’s efforts to promote settler colonialism through a settler leader advocating for expansion failed.
However, Latin American countries must also shoulder responsibility for consistency when it comes to supporting Palestine and its struggle against colonisation. If Netanyahu’s plans are to be thwarted, Latin American countries must develop a narrative of Palestinian support away from the two-state compromise. In doing so, Netanyahu’s claims of a region friendly towards Israel can be dispelled and Palestinian internationalist support will benefit from a new approach – that of former victims of colonial and neoliberal violence uniting and challenging the passive acceptance of Israel at an international level.
Israeli Prime Minister’s Office is seeking to increase by tens of millions of shekels the budget for evacuating and resettling residents of the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona, according to Haaretz Hebrew newspaper.
It asked the Finance Ministry this week for a further 30-70 million shekels ($8.25-$19.25 million) on top of what is already allocated to develop Amichai, the new settlement for those being moved from Amona.
Haaretz has learned that if the requested increase is paid fully, the state will have invested close to a quarter of a billion shekels to evacuate and resettle 40 families who had built homes without permits and against the law in Amona.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office denied this report, but four sources familiar with the matter have confirmed it.
The sources said the prime minister’s chief of staff, Yoav Horowitz, asked for the added sum at a meeting this week with officials from several ministries involved in building the new settlement. The meeting was held due to the halt in the new settlement’s construction, caused by the lack of funds which none of the ministries was willing to pay.
Until now some 160 million shekels were earmarked for Amona’s evacuation and building Amichai. The sum consists of about 60 million shekels for infrastructure and public structures, 40 million shekels to compensate the evacuated Amona settlers.