WZO Settlement Division returns to the PMO

Since '67, division has assisted development over Green Line; Danon says he hopes move will remove bureaucratic problems for settlements.

By
January 19, 2011 04:13
1 minute read.
West Bank settlement of Kiryat Netafim

Kiryat Netafim settlement in West Bank 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

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 analysis 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

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Settlers view as a positive step Tuesday’s coalition decision to return the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division to the Prime Minister’s Office.

The move is part of the coalition’s new agreement with the newly formed Independence faction led by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. However, it was done at the request of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

RELATED:
Erekat to ask UNSC to declare all settlements illegal
PM: Israel was willing to extend the settlement freeze

“It’s a positive development,” said Dani Dayan, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

Since 1967, the division has assisted development over the Green Line, including housing infrastructure.

While the division is technically part of a nongovernmental agency, the WZO, it has been contracted for decades to execute government- funded projects over the Green Line. No private donor funds were involved in these projects. Over seven years ago, the settlement division was given responsibility for developing infrastructures in the Negev and the Galilee.

It was moved from the Prime Minister’s Office to the Labor-led Agriculture Ministry in July 2007, during the tenure of former prime minister Ehud Olmert.

The move was a technical one, since the government controls the division’s budget, but at the time it was believed that the shift to a Labor-led ministry would help shift the division’s focus from the West Bank to the Negev and the Galilee.

As such, settlers and right-wing politicians are hopeful that the return to the Prime Minister’s Office will push the division’s focus back to the settlements.

Likud MK Danny Danon told The Jerusalem Post that he hoped it would remove some of the bureaucratic problems that had made it difficult for the settlements to receive funding.

Dayan, however, was a bit more cautious in his praise.

“As much as it may be a positive development, the crucial thing now is to publish new tenders for the construction in the [settlement] cities and to advance plans for further construction in the settlements,” said Dayan.

“Those are things that have nothing to do, or very little, with the Settlement Division,” he added.

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

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD

Cookie Settings