Following allegations of misuse, Israel's finance minister stopped all government funds from being transferred to settlements in the West Bank. Yair Lapid, the Israeli Finance Minister, announced the freeze as well as a probe into the misallocation of government funds.
It's being alleged that money earmarked for security and maintenance fees for settlements during a ten-month building freeze between 2009 and 2010 went to a "settler's council to be used for political purposes, including activities that run counter to government policy."
According to a report by Israeli television on Friday, as much as $42 million was secretly paid in recent years to local city councils who administer services in the West Bank. Lapid gave finance officials a week to determine whether the money went elsewhere.
The development comes at a politically convenient time for Lapid. Two very recent polls show a massive drop for Lapid's centrist party Yesh Atid. In both polls, among the biggest beneficiaries of Yesh Atid's decline in popularity were right-leaning, pro-settler parties.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.