Israel allocates huge budget to attract more settlers to Jerusalem
The Israeli government has held a special session on Sunday to approve a three-year plan that allocated 95 million shekels (around $26mn US dollars) to attract young Jews from abroad to immigrate to the occupied Jerusalem.
The session was held in the al-Buraq Square in the Old City in occupied Jerusalem, Israeli media reported on Sunday, adding that it was part of Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right government's celebration of the so-called "Jerusalem Day" - marking the occupation of the eastern parts of the city in 1967.
The government plan was developed in cooperation with the Jerusalem Municipality with the support of the Jewish Agency, which looks to encourage young Jews - between the ages of 18 and 35 - to settle in the occupied Jerusalem in a bid to outnumber Palestinian presence, according to a report by Israel Hayom newspaper.
The plan allocates the assigned budget to the Ministry of Immigration, as well as the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture, and the Ministry of Sports, to enable them to provide incentives to attract more Jews to the occupied city.
The plan also included encouraging Jewish migration to Jerusalem by holding annual exhibitions abroad, establishing centres for new Jewish settlers in the occupied city, and creating special programs to give them jobs there.
According to the Israeli government's plan, the Ministry of Immigration and the Jerusalem Municipality will assist immigrants who settle in Jerusalem to enroll on vocational training and obtain suitable work licenses in their fields of work.
Special education programs will also run for the children of immigrants moving to Jerusalem, as well as the organisation of tours that will "meet their cultural and entertainment needs".
"We are talking about an excellent plan that will bring young people, academics, and families to the city," Israel's minister of immigration, Pnina Tamano-Shata, was quoted by Israel Hayom as saying.
"This plan will contribute to empowering the city in various aspects, [including] economic, Zionist, and demographic."
Moshe Leon, the mayor of Israel's municipality in Jerusalem, told Israel Hayom: "We are the most welcoming city for immigrants (Jews) in Israel.
"New immigrants integrate into the city and contribute to the development of various aspects of life. I intend to invest in encouraging coming (to Jerusalem) in the coming years."
Recent data from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics that over 18,000 Jews arrived in Jerusalem since 2018. More than half of them were between the ages of 18 and 35.
The data also showed that approximately 30 percent of them left Jerusalem in the past five years.