West Bank Council leaders received a signed garuntee from Prime Minister Netanyahu..
(photo credit: MIRI TZACHI)
Hunger striking settlement supporters, demanding the government increase funding for security in the West Bank, ended their protest on Friday when coalition chairman David Bitan brought a signed agreement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promising NIS 800 million for infrastructure improvement to their protest tent across from the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem.
The protest was started by Israelis living in Judea and Samaria who have lost family members to Palestinian violence and blame poor infrastructure and a lack of security around settlements. The protest escalated to a hunger strike last Sunday.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council; Avi Naim, mayor of Beit Aryeh; and Malachi Levinger, mayor of Kiryat Arba, joined the hunger strike last Sunday as well.
According to the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Yoav Horowitz, NIS 200m.
will be used to assist the settlement of Beit Aryeh with security infrastructure and to complete the bypass roads around Kalandiya. The remaining NIS 600m. will be used to generally improve roads and bypasses throughout the West Bank.
Hunger strike leaders stated their satisfaction with the agreement.
Hadas Mizrahi, whose husband, Baruch, was shot in 2014 on a road outside Hebron, described how, because of poor road conditions, she and her children waited for 20 minutes in the car with her dead husband before help arrived. Baruch, a 47-year-old father of five and a police intelligence and crime officer, was slain as he was driving from with his family from Modi’in to a Passover Seder in Hebron. Hadas, then 28, was moderately wounded. One of their sons, a nine-year-old who was in a second vehicle, was wounded by shrapnel.
“I am ecstatic. I am so happy that we were given this opportunity,” she said on Friday.
Before the agreement was signed, she blamed poor infrastructure for her husband’s death. “My husband was murdered because there was insufficient lighting.”
Dagan said, “This is an historic agreement.
The new roads will upgrade security and change the West Bank for the better.”
Bitan added, “We [the government] plan to stand by what is written and implement the necessary policies.”
Lahav Harkov and Udi Shaham contributed to this report.