Peace Now report: Settlers enjoy luxury roads
Organization says State invests large sums in constructing highways for settlers in West Bank, while shortage in funds leaves infrastructure within Green Line lacking
08.26.07, 12:04 / Israel News
While the State of Israel invests millions in constructing roads in
the West Bank, it neglects infrastructure development within the
Green Line, thus contributing to the increase in road accidents in
the country, the Peace Now organization claimed Sunday.
According to a report compiled by the group, 33 kilometers of roads
are currently under construction in the area east of the separation
fence, with an investment of some NIS 315 million.
“The State spends at least NIS 50,000 for each settler’s vehicle, on
infrastructure and new roads. While people in Israel get killed on a
daily basis due to a shortage in funds for infrastructure, the
settlers get luxury roads,” said Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv
The roads in question include a road that is designed to serve four
settlements with 483 vehicles and 2,570 residents; the cost of
construction stands at NIS 142.5 million. Another road would serve
the 762 residents of one settlement and cost NIS 35 million.
The group noted that following a series of horrific crashes on the
Arava highway recently, it was reported that the construction of a
barrier between the lanes was being delayed due to the high cost of
the project. Meanwhile, a similar separation barrier has been built
along a highway in the southern Mount Hebron area, but was later
dismantled after the High Court deemed it illegal. The cost of the
barrier’s construction and later dismantling stood at NIS 80 million.
The report further noted that according to the Central Bureau of
Statistics, the State has over the years invested much more in paving
roads in the West Bank than in Israel. In recent years, some 17% of
road construction took place in the West Bank, although the settler
population makes up only 3.5 of the Israeli population.