Jewish National Fund to vote on settlement expansion proposal

Jewish National Fund to vote on West Bank settlement expansion proposal
2 min read
08 April, 2021
If approved, the JNF proposal would direct funds towards the expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank.
More than 600,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank [Getty]
The management of Jewish National Fund will vote this week on a controversial proposal that could see more funding funneled to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

If approved by the JNF management on Sunday, as expected, the proposal will then be voted on by the non-profit's board of directors later this month.

The fund has previously admitted to giving funding to settlements in the West Bank through a subsidiary, but a vote earlier this year green lit the allocation of an official budget of 38 million shekels ($11.6 million) to future purchases of land in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The JNF, which was founded in 1901 to purchase land in historic Palestine for Jews and owns around 13 percent of the land in Israel, said further debate was necessary to decide whether to go ahead with purchases of private land and where.

If approved, this month's proposal would allow the fund to purchase land anywhere in the occupied West Bank.

The proposal explicitly states that land purchased will go towards expanding existing settlements, Haaretz reported.

It is unclear whether the JNF's board of directors would approve the proposal if it goes to a vote on 22 April.

Left-wing groups represented in the board are currently lobbying to shelve the proposal.

Israeli settlements in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem are considered illegal under international law.

More than 600,000 people currently live in over 200 settlements, according to Israeli NGO B'Tselem.

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