TheKnesset's Joint Committee for the Defense Budget rejected Tuesdayafternoon a request from Defense Minister Ehud Barak to increasebudgetary allocations to enforce the building moratorium in West BankSettlements.
Thecommittee met following a request from the Defense Ministry to do abudgetary transfer of NIS 12 million from security to coordinatingactivities in the West Bank in order to add 40 new positions – 29 aspart of the enforcement arm of the Civil Administration, and 11furtherpositions within the Defense Ministry.
Atthe end, subcommittee member MK Uri Ariel (NU) said that "While thePalestinians build illegal estates without anyone doing anything, Barakis busy rounding-up a budget for inspection of his draconic moratorium.The committee acted correctly in rejecting Barak's request."
Arielemphasized that when the moratorium went into effect, he had warnedthat the Defense Minister's plan to add new inspectors was illegal aslong as Barak had not received an okay from the joint committee.
Tothat end, he wrote a letter to IDF West Bank DCO Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, inwhich he said that "as a member of the Committee for the Defense Budgetand after looking in to the matter, I would like to call to yourattention that there is no approval – neither in terms of precedent orin terms of budget [for the new inspectors]. Thus I ask you not to actin an illegal manner."
MKDanny Danon (Likud) also slammed the request to increase CivilAuthority funding at the expense of the security budget. "Barak needsto be concerned with the security needs of the settlers and not withreinforcing the supervision of his draconian moratorium," Danoncomplained.