Thu 25 May 2023:
An Israeli minister announced late Wednesday that Israel had allocated nearly a billion dollars to expand settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, Anadolu Agency reported.
The Times of Israel newspaper reported that according to an agreement between Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Transportation Minister Miri Regev, some 3.5 billion Israeli shekels ($941 million) will be the state budget for the settlement projects and its infrastructure upgrading.
It added that the amount will cover upgrading roads connecting settlements with each other as well as building new ones, roads in and around occupied East Jerusalem and other projects in the settlements.
On Wednesday, the Israeli coalition government approved the proposed budget of 484 billion shekels (about $132 billion) for 2023 and 514 billion shekels (about $140 billion) for 2024.
Israeli and Palestinian estimates indicate there are about 650,000 settlers living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the occupied West Bank.
Under international law, all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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