Leaders of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria on Monday expressed outrage over the lack of funding for their security, claiming the Israeli government has failed to allocate “a single shekel” to protect the 500,000-plus citizens living in the area since Hamas launched its war against the Jewish state on Oct. 7.
During a heated debate in the Knesset Finance Committee, the heads of the Binyamin Regional Council, Gush Etzion Regional Council, Samaria Regional Council, Mount Hebron Regional Council and Beit El Council lashed out at opposition lawmakers for demanding a further budget cut.
Among other opposition members, Labor Party Knesset member Naama Lazimi objected to funding for the National Missions Ministry, claiming it would come at the expense of support for evacuees from northern Israel and the Western Negev region near the border with the Gaza Strip.
“Half a million of our residents are on the front, thanks to which Nukhba [Hamas terrorists] did not attack Kfar Saba, Beit Shemesh or Afula,” responded Shlomo Ne’eman, who also serves as the head of the Yesha Council, the umbrella group representing Judea and Samaria localities.
“We have met security needs on our own—we purchased helmets on our own. 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,” added Ne’eman.
The committee is expected to hold further hearings on Tuesday before the budget is presented to the Knesset plenum for a vote later this week.
On Monday night, Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan and Beit El Council head Shai Alon met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in private and presented him with their security needs, Dagan said in a press release.
“We request, expect and trust you to give a clear directive—the state budget should not be approved in any way without the security budgets of Judea and Samaria,” the Samaria leader reportedly told Netanyahu.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Finance Ministry Bezalel Smotrich and members of the Civil Administration insist on not learning the lesson from the faulty [pre-Oct. 7] conceptions and procrastinate passing a budget that would protect lives,” charged Alon.
Ganz told the premier, “We ask for basic security and suitable conditions that our children, our families and communities deserve. About 80 percent of the men [in Judea and Samaria] are currently recruited in the south, the north and in other missions for the defense of the state.”
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 on Monday.
In the nine weeks since 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.