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Israel pledges $58 million for Druze, Circassian communities

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with Druze and Circassian local council leaders on Dec. 26, 2019. (PM Media Adviser)

Israel’s cabinet approved on Dec. 29 a proposal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to invest 200 million shekels ($58 million) to develop the Druze and Circassian communities of Israel in 2020.

At a meeting with the council heads of each community, Netanyahu announced the passing of the development plan, which represents a continuation of his five-year plan.

The plan aimed to invest in and strengthen the Druze sector began in October, 2016, and is worth approximately 2.2 billion shekels ($6.4 million).

According to Prime Minister’s office, the funds approved Dec. 29 will provide “an immediate response to the communities’ urgent needs, including . . . preventing the dismissal of workers, allocating resources and continuing to advance the development plans.”

“With this step,” he said, “we are continuing the development and strengthening plans that we have implemented in recent years in the Druze sector in education, employment, health, infrastructures and housing.

“Our goal is to continue reducing the gaps among our Druze and Circassian brothers, and promoting their full integration in the economy and society of Israel.”

The plan intends to advance the population in “education, infrastructures, society, employment and recreation, and to improve both the oversight and control process vis-à-vis the various government ministries, as well as the degree of transparency regarding government action as per the decisions designated for dealing with these communities.”

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