The Interior Ministry is investigating claims that Kfar Saba Mayor Yehuda Ben Hamo authorized repairs to two synagogues at public expense in contravention of the law, reports www.local.co.il. In the first case, Ben Hamo authorized the payment of NIS 150,000 to the Torah Va'Avoda fund for repairs to the roof of its Minyan Hatzeirim synagogue, while in the second case he authorized the payment of NIS 10,000 for an air-conditioner for the Yad Ophir synagogue. According to the report, payments for matters such as synagogue repairs must first be approved by a special municipal committee, but Ben Hamo allegedly bypassed the committee and authorized the "extraordinarily high" payments himself. The committee, which has a budget of only NIS 50,000 for all of 2008, usually pays out sums of just NIS 4,500, and the report said that requests by several synagogues for larger sums had been refused by the committee recently. A municipal spokesman said the money had been paid according to regulations and approval had not been needed by the special committee, because both synagogues had been used regularly by school students for various activities and the municipality was therefore responsible for the buildings' upkeep. A ministry spokesman said the allegations were being investigated.