Coalition Deal Commits 35 Billion Shekels to Arab Sector

Mansour Abbas, head of the Ra’am party. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The incoming Israeli government has tentatively agreed to funding for the Arab sector in the amount of 35 billion shekels over the next five years, with an option for more, Globes reported on Thursday.

The allocation, regarded as the main achievement of the Islamist Ra’am party by joining the coalition, represents a doubling of the previous allocation for the sector.

The specifics await the signatures of the parties ahead of the swearing-in on Sunday. But according to reports, the budget will combine three separate plans for the general Arab, Bedouin and Druze communities.

The spending will address problems of health, welfare, employment, education, higher education, planning housing and neighborhoods, strengthening local authorities, innovation and high-tech, encouraging employment and entrepreneurship, tourism and water and sewage infrastructures.

An additional 2.5 billion will be used to combat the rampaging crime and violence in Israeli Arab society.

The plan will be drawn up in detail by the Authority for the Development of Arab Society together with the budget department of the Ministry of Finance in consultation with the Knesset Committee for Arab Affairs, on which Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas will likely sit.

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