JERUSALEM, June 19 (UPI) — The Israeli government agreed Sunday to devote $20 million more in financing to Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The move underscores the country’s more right-leaning orientation and has raised the ire of some politicians, as well as the Palestinians, The New York Times reported.
The money will be added to $87.9 million the Israeli government already has marked for the nation’s enclaves in the occupied West Bank, Israeli news outlet Haaretz reported.
Palestinian officials called the move a “slap on the face” for the international community.
The move came just as Avigdor Lieberman, considered an Israeli hard-liner, is expected to arrive in Washington, D.C., where he will meet with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Lieberman, who is a settler, was appointed last month as defense minister.
The new money was approved after condemnations of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by two former defense ministers and by several military chiefs of state.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said some of the money will go to build hotels on the West Bank.
Those settlements have long been a point of contention between Israel and the United States, as well as much of the rest of the world.
Many countries view construction in the settlements as a violation of international law and a road block standing in the way of a resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.