B'Tselem - Encouragement of migration to the settlements

Encouragement of migration to the settlements

The Israeli governments have implemented a consistent and systematic policy intended to encourage Jewish citizens to migrate to the West Bank. One of the tools used to this end is to grant financial benefits and incentives to citizens - both directly and through the Jewish local authorities. The purpose of this support is to raise the standard of living of these citizens and to encourage migration to the West Bank.

Most of the settlements in the West Bank are defined as national priority areas (A class or B class). Accordingly, the settlers and other Israeli citizens working or investing in the settlements are entitled to significant financial benefits. These benefits are provided by six government ministries: the Ministry of Construction and Housing (generous loans for the purchase of apartments, part of which is converted to a grant); the Israel Lands Administration (significant price reductions in leasing land); the Ministry of Education (incentives for teachers, exemption from tuition fees in kindergartens, and free transportation to school); the Ministry of Industry and Trade (grants for investors, infrastructure for industrial zones, etc.); the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (incentives for social workers); and the Ministry of Finance (reductions in income tax for individuals and companies). In 2003, the Ministry of Finance cancelled the income tax reduction that residents of settlements previously received.

The Ministry of the Interior provides increased grants for the local authorities in the territories relative to those provided for communities within Israel. In the year 2000, the average per capita grant in the Jewish local councils in the West Bank was approximately sixty-five percent higher than the average per capita grant in local councils inside Israel. The discrepancy in the grants for the regional councils is even greater: the average per capita grant in 2000 in the regional councils in the West Bank was 165 percent of that for a resident of a regional council inside Israel.

One of the mechanisms used by the government to favor the Jewish local authorities in the West Bank, in comparison with local authorities inside Israel, is to channel funding through the Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization. Although the entire budget of the Settlement Division comes from state funds, as a non-governmental body it is not subject to the rules applying to government ministries in Israel.

International law
Taking control of the land
Annexation and local government
Encouragement of migration
Map analysis
Map of the settlements, PDF
Settlements population, XLS
Population in Gaza settlements before evacuation, XLS
Settler violence
East Jerusalem
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