Israel’s government on Tuesday authorized the transfer of 740 million shekels ($220.6 million) to the country’s Arab regional authorities, according to Israeli media reports.

The move comes two weeks after the Islamist Ra’am Party ended a coalition crisis by returning to the government.

The funding includes 200 million shekels ($56.6 million) from the Interior Ministry to local Arab councils, 400 million shekels ($119.2 million) from the Construction Ministry for expanding Arab communities and 90 million shekels ($26.8 million) from the Welfare Ministry for services and social-welfare programs, according to Channel 12.

In addition, the science and social equality ministries will invest 50 million shekels ($14.9 million) in the promotion of educational and training programs.

While the funds had already been budgeted, they had been “stuck” for months, according to the report.

Ra’am Party chairman Mansour Abbas froze the party’s membership in the coalition on April 17 following clashes on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. As the loss of the party’s four seats meant that an opposition bill to dissolve the government could not be defeated, the move threw the government into a crisis.

However, on May 11, Abbas announced the party’s return to the coalition, stating that new elections would likely return Likud leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to power.

In his announcement, he said: “We entered the coalition to provide solutions to the many distresses of Arab society,” naming them as “housing, cost of living, local authorities and, of course, the distress of the Negev and the unrecognized communities. Hence, Ra’am decided to give the coalition another chance.”


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