The Ministry for Social Equality revealed that the Authority for the Economic Development of the Minority Sector presented in a comprehensive report on the main steps taken to reduce the social and economic gaps between Israel’s Arab communities and the rest of the country, as well as the main policies for the government’s five-year plan, as a continuation of the previous five-year plan.
In October 2020, the government approved the five-year plan for the economic development of minorities, which aims to expand activities to integrate Arab society into the Israeli economy. The total budget of the program was 30 billion Shekels ($7.9 billion) for five years, of which 21.8 billion Shekels ($5.8 billion) for Arab and Bedouin communities in the north, 5.2 billion Shekels ($1.4 billion) for the Bedouin communities in the south and 3 billion Shekels ($800 million) for the Druze and Circassian communities. The implementation of the government’s decision was done in collaboration with over 30 ministries and government bodies.
According to the 2022 summary report that is now being published for the first time, no less than 5.9 billion Shekels ($1.6 billion) of the total budget of the five-year plan was invested in Arab communities in 2022.
In the field of education alone, about 700 million Shekels ($185 million) were invested in 2022 for a variety of projects, including the construction of about 505 new classrooms in Arab towns, reducing the gaps in the eligibility rate for matriculation, developing a plan to improve the functioning of the education departments in the Arab authorities, placing native-speaking teachers in 70 Middle schools in Arab settlements and more. Also, following a significant increase in the number of scholarships for students from the Arab society, the number of Arab students crossed the threshold of 60,000 students in all degrees in the past school year, and their proportion in the first degree crossed the threshold of 20% of all students for the first time.