The Israeli Cabinet on Sunday approved the transfer of 75 million shekels ($20.8 million) in security funding for outposts in Judea and Samaria, amid accusations that Jerusalem has been neglecting the protection of citizens living in the disputed area since Hamas launched its current war against the Jewish state on Oct. 7.
“The Ministry of Settlements will invest 75 million shekels in security components for the young settlements,” Minister of Settlements and National Missions Orit Strock tweeted on Sunday, calling it “a great privilege to provide minimum security to the pioneers of our generation.
“This is really just the beginning, but like all beginnings, this one was difficult,” Strock added as she thanked fellow Religious Zionism Party member and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.
Ahead of Sunday’s Cabinet vote, heads of local authorities in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley accused Israel’s unity government of making them “chase after the budgets at a time when Israel is at war,” noting that a vote on a broader security budget was dropped from Sunday’s agenda.
“You have abandoned and neglected more than half a million residents of Judea and Samaria, leaving the communities without essential elements of security,” the mayors and regional council heads wrote in a letter to government ministers, which was shared with JNS.
“Many of those whom you have chosen to abandon have been mobilized [into the Israel Defense Forces reserves] and are currently deep in the Gaza Strip are under the impression that the government of Israel is performing its duty to protect their families—yet it is not,” the letter charged.
During a fiery debate in the Knesset Finance Committee on Dec. 12, Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman revealed that local authorities in Judea and Samaria have been forced to finance and purchase their own security equipment.
“We are requesting that the elected public officials from left to right …take responsibility for our citizens, since they are citizens just like the rest of the citizens of the State of Israel,” said Ne’eman, who also serves as the head of the Yesha Council umbrella group.
Palestinian terrorists in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley have escalated their campaign against Israeli civilians and security forces in the wake of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre in the northwestern Negev, according to data published by Channel 14 News earlier this month.
In the first nine weeks after Hamas launched its cross-border attack from the Gaza Strip, the broadcaster counted 1,388 attacks in the disputed territories, including 569 cases of rock-throwing, 287 attacks with explosives, 143 Molotov cocktail assaults and 70 terrorist shootings.