Far-right Israeli ministers want to kill off funding for Palestinian citizens

Far-right Israeli ministers want to kill off funding for Palestinian citizens
2 min read
20 July, 2023
The far-right Religious Zionist wing of the Netanyahu government now want to divert money meant to aid in underfunded Palestinian communities to religious Israeli Jews.
Itamar Ben-Gvir is leading the push to cut funds for Palestinian citizens of Israel [Getty]

Two far-right Israeli ministers are demanding an end to a plan to raise the socioeconomic levels of Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Minister for Development of the Periphery Yitzhak Wasserlauf, both members of the far-right Kahanist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, want the $36 million earmarked for the Palestinian communities in Israel diverted to Jewish citizens, specifically for the subsidisation of married yeshiva students, according to Haaretz.

In 2021, the previous government approved the plan with a budget of about $8 billion up to 2026 to pay for infrastructure and education in Palestinian communities. However, the current far-right ministers part of the Netanyahu government want to scrap what Ben-Gvir and Wasserlauf derogatorily called the "inheritance of the Lapid-Bennett-Abbas government".  


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The plan to cut funding comes as Palestinian citizens of Israel suffer an unprecedented wave of murders in the community. More than 120 Palestinians in Israel have died in suspected murders, which Palestinians have partly blamed on systemic underfunding for and wider discrimination of the community by the Israeli government.

The main aim of the far-right ministers is to curb the funding given to Palestinian citizens of Israel to better financially underwrite their own constituency of ultra-Orthodox, far-right Religious Zionist settlers.

The Kahanist movement, of which Otzma Yehudit belongs, historically believes that all of Israel should be solely comprised of Jews, with the founder Rabbi Meir Kahane proposing  the use of terror to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Israel.

If Ben-Gvir and Wasserlauf do get their way and cut off funding to the Palestinian community in Israel, it is believed there will be some resistance in the Knesset.