A study published today by the Macro Center reveals that West Bank settlements are dramatically subsidized by the national government, with 57 percent of their funding coming directly from Israel, a dramatically higher percentage than cities inside Israel get.
The group’s director Roby Nathanson cautions that “not only do settlements distort pririoties of the Israeli government’s decision-making process on economic, political and social issues – the government of Israel proactively funds more than half of their existence too.”
Many of the settlements are described as “commuter communities” with little to no industry of their own. The settlements are disproportionately peopled by younger Israelis, and enjoy a much faster population growth rate than Israel proper, which the study concludes is a direct result of national subsidies.
Israel has been under growing pressure from the international community to curb the growth of the settlements and grant statehood to the Palestinians. Israeli officials have rejected the calls, and have plans to continue the growth unfettered.