Social Welfare Minister Haim Katz (Likud) intends to oppose a comprehensive aid package to strengthen Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, he announced last week – stating that the aid package, while helpful, does not do enough to strengthen the region or provide housing for its citizens.
"Of course the program itself is welcome and necessary," Katz's office said in a statement to Arutz Sheva Sunday morning. However, he stressed, the Social Welfare department needs "the tools to cope" with the situation.
Those tools, he said, include skills and services which would "restore a sense of control" in the region – including "self-defense workshops, [workshops] about driving while under stress, combat training […] improving internal communication to convey useful information in real time, reduce unnecessary rumors and stress, provide reinforcements to emergency services and local leadership."
The program would focus specifically, his office maintained, on helping immigrants develop coping skills, as they lack the scale of resources available to Israeli native citizens.
"The security situation in Judea-Samaria requires a special deal with [the government's] welfare departments," the statement concluded. "We must strengthen the communities which are at the forefront of combating terrorism."
"I cannot support a plan that will not provide for the residents' real needs."