Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel’s negotiator in renewed Israeli-Palestinian conflict talks, abstained from a cabinet vote approving national benefits including housing subsidies and loans for more than 600 Israeli communities on the grounds that a record number of Judea and Samaria communities were included on the list.
Livni acknowledged that there is “no doubt that we need to provide the citizens living in [the Judea and Samaria communities] with security—that is our responsibility,” but said she believes it is “wrong and contrary to national interests to take funds that should be going toward diminishing social gaps and using them to encourage settlement in these secluded and dangerous settlements.”
While Livni fears the inclusion of Judea and Samaria communities will jeopardize renewed Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett said, “It is our duty to encourage the continued settlement in Judea and Samaria.”
Due to security threats Judea and Samaria communities face, those communities “deserve national benefits,” Bennett said.
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