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Israel to reward new immigrants for settling in periphery, West Bank

Israel's Immigration and Finance Ministries unveiled a new scheme offering economic incentives for immigrants who settle in peripheral northern or southern communities or in the occupied West Bank.
This picture shows a view of the West Bank settlement of Har Bracha near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on January 22, 2024. (Photo by Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP) (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images)

The Israeli government will offer financial remuneration to new immigrants who settle in the country's northern or southern periphery or in the occupied West Bank. It announced the plan Wednesday at a joint press conference held by Immigration and Integration Minister Ofir Sofer and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

At an estimated cost of more than $19 million dollars, the scheme would give each new immigrant choosing to live far from an urban center or on the West Bank $550 per month for two years to put toward their rent. New immigrants who rent apartments in central Israel or in the Haifa area would receive several hundred shekels ($100-200) a month for two years. 

Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, and the settlements established on the territory are considered illegal under international law. 

Immigrants already receive economic assistance for rent, but the money — the same amount — is currently spread over five years. The budget to cover the new arrivals who settle in an area designated under the new scheme will be taken from a new pool of money, but Sofer and Smotrich did not say from exactly where.

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