Settlement spending reaches two-decade high of NIS 1.1 billion

settlement construction
Construction in the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, 2011. (Photo: AP)

Today Haaretz reported settlement spending has skyrocketed by 38% since 2010, reaching a two-decade high of NIS 1.1 billion. Historically this level of funding was surpassed only once in 1993 during the post-Oslo boom in Israeli control over the West Bank.

The government spent NIS 1.1 billion on West Bank settlements last year, and could save at least that much if it were to make its spending proportionate to the number of Israelis who live in the settlements, according to two different reports made public this week.

Last year’s government spending on the settlements represents a 38 percent rise over that of 2010. But it is significantly lower than the peak of NIS 2.5 billion (in real terms ) in 1993, when the funds were geared toward infrastructure changes required by the Oslo Accords, according to Central Bureau of Statistics findings reported on Monday by Israeli business newspaper Calcalist.

Read the full article here.

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, Settlers/Colonists

{ 15 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Avi_G. says:

    Historically this level of funding was surpassed only once in 1993 during the post-Oslo boom in Israeli control over the West Bank.

    Yes, but don’t you see? It’s those rejectionist Arabs who are the main reason for the failed peace process. Honest. Sharon, Barak, Olmert and Netyahoo were prepared to stop settlement construction if it weren’t for those wily ay-rabs.

    • In the aftermath of Oslo the government built roads so that Jewish settlers would be able to drive around without going through PA controlled territory. This is just a guess, but that is my assumption regarding that fact of infrastructure expenditures. It was not new settlers or new homes for settlers, it was protecting the old settlers.

      • Avi_G. says:

        Ha-Aretz puts a cute Hasbara spin on it:

        (Emphasis mine)

        But it is significantly lower than the peak of NIS 2.5 billion (in real terms ) in 1993, when the funds were geared toward infrastructure changes required by the Oslo Accords

        .

        “Infrastructure changes“.

        So let’s break down this sentence to better understand it.

        After the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, Israel went on a spending spree as it built infrastructure — in the occupied West Bank — that was allegedly, “[R]equired by the Oslo Accords”.

        In other words, while the Accords were intended to be an interim agreement, Israel went on to invest in a territory that it knew it had to return to Palestinians some time in the future.

        And instead of evacuating the settlements with the aim of facilitating an expeditious resolution to the conflict, Israel sent the settlers an implicit message telling them: Don’t worry. Keep on building and expanding. Here, we’ll build bridges, tunnels and highways just for you so you can travel safely and comfortably between the settlements of the West Bank and Israel proper. But remember, we’re spending billions on this because it’s all temporary….wink wink, nudge nudge.

      • It was not new settlers or new homes for settlers, it was protecting the old settlers.

        is that also part of your ‘guessing’? the roads were not in preparation for an influx of future settlers?

    • OlegR says:

      The article also states that
      ” In 2003 Israel stopped granting tax breaks to citizens seeking to move to the West Bank, after pledging to the United States that it would bring the benefits to an end.”

  2. Elliot says:

    Allison – you need to correct your lead and headline to Israeli currency, as it appears in the Haaretz article and the quote that you cited.

    • OlegR says:

      The state of Israel yearly budget for 2012 is about 365 billion NIS
      the 1.1 NIS (As people here correctly point out) billion settlement spending is about 0.3% of the total budget.

      • Elliot says:

        Oleg – Israel claims the West Bank for security. The US gives Israel over $3b a year in aid for security.
        That makes the annual Israeli investment in the West Bank is 10% of US aid.
        The appropriate US response would be to deduct that amount from the aid package.

    • thanks for the heads up elliot. we edited.

  3. Krauss says:

    Their puppet, Romney, said it best in (quasi anti-Semitic terms): it’s Jewish culture that makes them occupy another people’s land.

    At least that’s what it looks to him. The tragedy is that many of his bundlers agree, and apparently the PM of Israel too.

  4. Allison, please note the difference between NIS – Shekels – and dollars. Your headline of $1.1 billion isn’t correct.

  5. talknic says:

    All those big fat illegal “facts on the ground” contracts … don’t wanna lose them … lobby lobby lobby … gotta keep th’ US veto vote in the UNSC.

  6. OlegR says:

    Still can’t be bothered to fix the factual mistake Allison…

  7. our apologies for the shekels to dollars misrepresentation, it was not intentional. and much appreciation to our readers for bringing it to our attention.