The government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu approved a 12 billion shekel development plan for the country’s Arab sector on Sunday, though it was made conditional on enforcement of the law in those communities.
Netanyahu said, “Everyone with eyes in their heads can see that there are big gaps between the Arab sectors and the Jewish population: gaps in resources, gaps in enforcing the law, gaps in rights and gaps in obligations.”
These gaps, he said, have been festering for generations “and the time has come to make a big national effort to narrow them.”
At the same time, he said, nothing can move forward “if we do not deal with the question of enforcing the laws of Israel in the Arab sector.”
“These two projects [development and law enforcement] are interwoven, and they will help all the citizens of Israel, first and foremost the Arab residents,” he said. “Everyone who wants the true integration of all Israeli citizens into Israeli society will be part of this national effort that the government will lead in the coming years.”
The cabinet also passed a 2 billion shekel development plan for the country’s Druze and Circassian communities, with Netanyahu saying that it is aimed at narrowing gaps and spurring development of those communities that “serve in the army and see themselves as part of the State of Israel.”