The Israeli Knesset Finance Committee recently approved an additional 20 million NIS (roughly $5.2 million) for funding security in settlements built in occupied East Jerusalem.Estimations made by Israeli Finance Ministry place the cost of protecting each settler in these Palestinian neighborhoods amounts to approximately 30,000 shekels per year, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency.
The Israeli Housing and Construction Ministry claim that the additional funds are a one-time increase aimed at purchasing more surveillance cameras and other technology, and will be reduced in years to come.
Funding for the security of Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem has reportedly risen at a constant rate over the years, from 7 million shekels in 1991 to double this figure in 1995, and to some 51 million shekels by the year 2010.
Al Ray notes that the Israeli Housing Ministry currently employs 370 security guards in East Jerusalem to protect settlers in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter, as well as settlements in Abu Tor, Silwan, Ras al-Amud, A-Tur , and Sheikh Jarrah.
As many as 500,000 Israeli settlers now live in various developments throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, in contravention of established international law.