Yesh Din: Freeze government funds to WZO settlement division

Police complete criminal probe of WZO officials suspected of handing over lands belonging to Palestinian farmers to Ofra.

August 2, 2009 03:54
1 minute read.
Yesh Din

yesh din 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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 watchdog organization Yesh Din has called on Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz to freeze the transfer of government funds to the Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization earmarked for West Bank settlements, while law enforcement authorities investigate allegations that it handed over privately owned Palestinian land for development to settlers in Ofra. On July 19, the government passed a resolution stating that 34 percent of government funds allocated in the state budget to the WZO would be spent on projects in the West Bank. On the day of the government decision, newspapers reported that police in the Binyamin district of the West Bank had recently completed a criminal investigation of officials in the WZO suspected of handing over lands belonging to Palestinian farmers to Ofra to build a new neighborhood. "It is not clear how the government continues to channel money to the Settlement Division and fund a body regarding which the cloud of illegality hovering over it grows darker each day, in terms of the findings of the Sasson Report [on illegal outposts compiled by attorney Talia Sasson, former head of the Special Tasks Division of the State Attorney's Office] and in light of the criminal investigation recently opened," wrote Shlomy Zecharia, a Yesh Din attorney. In mentioning the Sasson Report, Zecharia was referring to Sasson's charges that the WZO was deeply involved in the establishment of the illegal outposts. It allegedly allocated land to Jewish settlers in the West Bank even though it was not authorized to do so, and its authorizations sometimes included privately owned Palestinian land. Zecharia also pointed out that the government had accepted the findings of the Sasson Report and declared that it "approves the principle lying at the basis of the opinion, whereby the government must be strict and guarantee that land allocation, planning, construction and the bringing of occupants to the settlements, existing or new, in the area of Judea and Samaria be done legally and in accordance with government decisions." A spokesman for the WZO Settlement Division told The Jerusalem Post that the government budget for rural settlement activities comes from the Agriculture Ministry and that the division acts as a contractor to implement policy decisions made by the ministry. Therefore, he said, the WZO is not the right address for dealing with this issue.

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

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town