In reaction to the terrorist murders of Hallel Ariel and Rav Miki Mark in the Chevron area, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel spoke of plans to provide $12.8 million to enhance the security and infrastructure of Chevron and Kiryat Arba. In Chevron, the funds were to be used to build a heritage trail and new roads, to refurbish an archeological park, and to maintain Chevron’s old cemetery, while in Kiryat Araba the money was to be spent on establishing an emergency response center, a youth center and a shul.
“The terrorists want to scare us out of this place but we need to become stronger and connect the land,” Ariel said. “Even in the early years of Zionism it was clear that Arab terrorism can be defeated by settling the land and by taking various security measures; this has been the case in the Gaza area and on the northern border, and now also in the Chevron area.”
Ariel’s announcement still awaits government approval.
Other government plans include adding 40 million shekels to the protection of Jewish enclaves in east Yerushalayim, bringing this year’s budget for the purpose to 94.5 million shekels at the cost of 30,000 shekels per Jew living there.
This is in addition to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement that Israel was to build hundreds more apartments in east Yerushalayim and Maaleh Adumim, which brought condemnation from the U.S. State Department, the EU, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, and Egypt.
Netanyahu responded defiantly to the U.S. opposition, stating at a press conference, “We’re familiar with the American position; we don’t accept it.”
“With all due respect, it is neither the construction in Jerusalem nor that in Maaleh Adumim that make peace more remote,” he added. “What prevents peace, first of all, is the constant incitement against the existence of the State of Israel within any borders, and the time has come for all the nations of the world to recognize this simple truth. There is also a second truth: The way to resolve conflicts is by direct negotiations.”
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel