NIS 680 million allocated to Druse, Circassian sectors

Majority of funds to go for education, housing and welfare; funds to also be invested in employment training and encouraging small businesses.

February 14, 2011 06:06
1 minute read.
Kisra Samia is home to about 7,000 Druse

Kisra Samia 311. (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am)

The cabinet on Sunday unanimously approved a three-year NIS 680 million plan to strengthen the Druse and Circassian communities, the Prime Minister’s Office announced.

Formulated in cooperation with the Finance Ministry and including input from other ministries and representatives of the Druse and Circassian communities, the plan will focus on tackling problems in the fields of education, housing and social welfare.

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Roughly NIS 222m. will go toward building classrooms and kindergartens; NIS 16m to social welfare institutions; and NIS 4m. will be invested in commemorating fallen Druse and Circassian soldiers.

In addition, NIS 16m. will be invested in employment training and guidance centers; NIS 6m. to encourage small and medium businesses; and more than NIS 200m. to housing and infrastructure.

Druse and Circassian towns to benefit from the plan are Yirka, Beit Jann, Julis, Hurfeish, Kisra-Samia, Yanoach-Jat, Sajur, Kafr Kama, Ein al-Asad, Reihania, Peki’in, Rama and Abu Sinan. In addition, NIS 32m. will be invested in Daliat al-Carmel, Usfiya and Maghar, for needs that were not met under a previous cabinet decision.

“We have a special relationship with the Druse and Circassian sectors, which contribute so much to the IDF, the state and its security,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said. “We are aware of the problems in the sector, and today we want to correct the plight that has built up over the years.”

He added: “This government is working intensively to strengthen various populations in the State of Israel; we recently approved a plan worth almost NIS 1 billion for the non-Jewish sector.”

The new plan follows earlier moves by the government to boost economic development among minorities. A NIS 160m. initiative was launched in July 2009 aimed at upgrading existing businesses and helping to establish new ones in the sector. That project will continue for the next 10 years.

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