Finance Ministry skirted rules in settler funding request, Knesset legal adviser says

Yanon’s letter followed a stormy Knesset Finance Committee meeting on Sunday in which NIS 12.8 million was approved for a new visitor center in the Barkan Industrial Park.

December 24, 2014 23:01
1 minute read.
Homes in West Bank settlement

Homes in West Bank settlement. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The Finance Ministry failed to follow proper procedure by requesting funding for a settler visitor’s center without first obtaining legal clearance from the Attorney-General’s Office, Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon said on Wednesday.

He issued his statement in a letter to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein. He asked that Weinstein instruct the government to follow proper rules and procedures by requesting funds only after all bureaucratic approvals have been obtained.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Yinon’s letter followed a stormy Knesset Finance Committee meeting on Sunday in which NIS 12.8 million was approved for a new visitor’s center in the Barkan Industrial Park, located in the West Bank.

Labor politicians tried to halt the vote by noting that Weinstein’s approval had not been sought, as is necessary for financial transactions in an election period.

The Labor politicians accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also in charge of the Finance Ministry, of politically blackmailing voters by using that office to cater to right-wing voters.

They further noted that Weinstein’s authorization had not been sought for the funding transfer.

But committee chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) held a vote based on legal advice that a vote could be held since Weinstein’s approval was needed before the funds could be released.


Yinon said that Slomiansky had the right to hold the vote, but that the government’s practice of asking the Finance Committee to approve funding requests that still lack legal authorization must be halted.

“This is against all proper government procedure,” Yinon said.

“Knesset procedure should begin only after the government procedure has ended.”

The Attorney-General’s Office is also expected to rule on Sunday’s vote.

Separately, the General Elections Committee plans to rule on the matter of whether the Finance Committee can approve funding requests for new projects in West Bank settlements during an election period. It has asked for information from both Netanyahu and Slomiansky with regard to Sunday’s vote.

MK Stav Shaffir (Labor) had complained to the General Elections Committee about the Finance Committee votes on settlement funding this month and asked to halt such funding until the nation goes to the polls on March 17.

Besides objecting to funding for the Barkan visitor’s center, she also objected to the approval earlier this month of NIS 80m. for West Bank settlements, which occurred after the Knesset had dispersed.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

twitter facebook
November 15, 2018
Do rocket alert apps in Israel do more harm than good?