Israel's cabinet approves new national priorities plan

 

Jerusalem

Israel’s cabinet today approved a new national priorities plan, which will see preferential funding going to outposts in the occupied West Bank, which just a few months ago, even the Israel government considered to be illegal.

Under the plan, state grants will be available to three outposts, on security grounds. A further five settlements will also be entitled to the taxpayer funds. Outposts are Jewish camps or villages that even Israel does not consider to be legal, while settlements are considered to be illegal under international law. A number of areas inhabited by former settlers in Gaza – before the Israeli withdrawal in 2005 – were also included on the new list.

The decision, which will be welcomed by the right wingers in the Israeli cabinet, will no doubt infuriate the Palestinians, just days after the first direct peace talks between the two sides for almost three years.

Tzipi Livni, the Israeli justice minister and chief negotiator in the peace talks abstained from the vote, but is understood to have attacked the decision during the cabinet meeting.

The government said that the decision was related to security concerns, rather than any policy of settlement expansion. It comes just a fortnight after the European Union told its members that they could not enter into agreements with Israel unless it was specified that settlements were explicitly excluded. The move led to outrage on the right in Israel.

The decision to provide extra funding to the outposts and settlements comes a week after the Israeli government acceded to Palestinian demands to release 104 prisoners, who have been held since before the Oslo peace accord in 1993. The policy, which was led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, caused consternation among government right-wingers.

The first batch of prisoners is due to be released on 13 August. It is believed that 26 will be freed in what will be the first of four stages of releases.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific