Funding for W. Bank inspectors rejected

MK Ariel calls on Barak to explain NIS 18 million budget to c'tee.

The Knesset Finance Committee rejected for the fifth consecutive time Tuesday a request by the Defense Ministry to turn over the funding necessary for inspectors to enforce the West Bank building moratorium.
In accordance with a request from the Finance Committee during the previous session to discuss the funding, Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot attended the meeting to personally explain to the committee the need for the additional funds.
Dangot, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), told the committee that he felt that the word "inspectors" was unfair, and did injustice to the civil servants who worked in the difficult position of enforcing civil authority in the West Bank.
Dangot said that the request for NIS 18 million was not exclusively tofund inspectors for the building moratorium, but also for CivilAdministration officials to engage in other activities includingecological protection.
He could not say what percentage of the NIS 18 million would bededicated to moratorium enforcement as compared to the other activitiesincluded on his list.
MKs from both the opposition and the coalition, led by MK Uri Ariel(NU/NRP) refused to vote on the budgetary approval for the NIS 18million before Defense Minister Ehud Barak stands before the committeeto explain the need for the budgetary reallocation.
"I'm happy that the committee members, including Kadima MKs, opposedthe budgetary transfer. Barak himself will now need to come before thecommittee in order to explain the inspectors' behavior before thecommittee will consider his request."