The Israeli war minister, Avigdor Lieberman, will officially roll out a security package for West Bank settlers worth NIS 3.3 billion ($939 million) next month including major upgrades to roads, cameras and armored vehicles, Hebrew media reported on Tuesday.
The “unprecedented” sum will reportedly come at the expense of the Transportation, Housing and Communications ministries, which Lieberman is expected to approach for support.
According to a Tuesday Channel 2 report, the package will include the installation of security cameras along roads throughout the West Bank, the installation of cell phone towers to improve reception for settlers who may need to call for help, the paving of bypass roads around Palestinian towns and Israeli settlements, and the bolstering of armored buses that travel through the West Bank.
The plan also includes broad security improvements for each settlement that will include security cameras, “smart fences” and sensors to warn of attempts to sneak into settlements and anti-occupation attacks.
Settler leaders welcomed the moves, but wanted them to be implemented immediately, before the 2019 budget is passed, Channel 2 said.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to pave additional bypass roads for settlers in the West Bank, even if it meant skimming funds from the budgets of all the ministries.
The comments were believed to be made in response to criticism from Israeli settler leadership over what they perceive as insufficient settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.
The bypass roads create separate routes for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. Observers say these routes are discriminatory and are often paved on private Palestinian land.
(Source / 18.10.2017)