Knesset to Barak: No funds for freeze

C'tee rejects request to allocate more funds for building moratorium enforcement.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
March 9, 2010 16:26
2 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Ariel Jerozolimski)

barak kill 190. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )

 
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The Knesset's Joint Committee for the Defense Budget rejected Tuesday afternoon a request from Defense Minister Ehud Barak to increase budgetary allocations to enforce the building moratorium in West Bank Settlements.


 


The committee met following a request from the Defense Ministry to do a budgetary transfer of NIS 12 million from security to coordinating activities in the West Bank in order to add 40 new positions – 29 as part of the enforcement arm of the Civil Administration, and 11further positions within the Defense Ministry.


 


At the end, subcommittee member MK Uri Ariel (NU) said that "While the Palestinians build illegal estates without anyone doing anything, Barak is busy rounding-up a budget for inspection of his draconic moratorium. The committee acted correctly in rejecting Barak's request."


 


Ariel emphasized that when the moratorium went into effect, he had warned that the Defense Minister's plan to add new inspectors was illegal as long as Barak had not received an okay from the joint committee.


 



To that end, he wrote a letter to IDF West Bank DCO Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, in which he said that "as a member of the Committee for the Defense Budget and after looking in to the matter, I would like to call to your attention that there is no approval – neither in terms of precedent or in terms of budget [for the new inspectors]. Thus I ask you not to act in an illegal manner."

 


MK Danny Danon (Likud) also slammed the request to increase Civil Authority funding at the expense of the security budget. "Barak needs to be concerned with the security needs of the settlers and not with reinforcing the supervision of his draconian moratorium," Danon complained.


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