Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi /FLASH90
The security gate surrounding the settlement of Efrat in the Judaean Mountains.

The Knesset Finance Committee on Tuesday approved the transfer of a security grant to local authorities in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, totaling 34.5 million shekel ($10 million), to pay for the government’s decision in December this year to carry out “special 2019 expenditure for local authorities in Judea and Samaria.”

Following its approval, the grant is expected to be transferred as soon as possible to the local municipalities, which ended the previous year with budget deficits due to unexpected spending on security.

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In addition, a total of 5.5 million shekel will be allocated to first aid services in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

The Finance Committee, headed by MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ), approved budget transfers totaling 11.36 billion shekels ($3.26 billion) on Tuesday. The transfers include funding internal changes in ministries and other government entities, as well as transfers between the various ministries’ budgets.

About 53 million shekel were transferred to cover improvements in the budget of the Governmental Authority for Water and Sewerage.

About 23 million shekel, contingent on income, went to the Ministry of the Economy for the development of industrial zones in national priority areas.

About 30 million shekel was transferred from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Transport’s budget. This budget is primarily intended to cover a shortage in road testers, due to an unexpected rise in the number of new drivers; to design a road sign plan in the Arab sector; and to fund road safety works in local municipalities.

In 2019, 345 people were killed in road accidents in Israel, up 35, or 10%, from 2018. A disproportionate number of the drivers involved were Arabs.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.