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Israel launches economic plan for Israeli Arab towns


Free: Mudholes Stomped
Jan 8, 2007
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The Israeli cabinet has backed a $214m investment plan for Israeli Arabs, who have long suffered inequality and a history of discrimination.

Israeli-Arab groups gave the news a cautious welcome but said some of the money just made up for cuts last year.

About 20% of Israel's population are people of Arab descent who remained in Israel after its creation in 1948.

Israel is under pressure to tackle wealth gaps between communities as it seeks to join the OECD later this year.

"Underlying this plan is a dramatic change of direction in the government's policy," said Israeli Minister for Minorities, Avishai Braverman.

The plan commits 800m Israeli shekels ($214m) over five years to the areas of economic infrastructure, housing and transportation in 12 localities, together with an initiative to reduce violence within the communities.

Municipal services in many Israeli-Arab communities are inferior to those in Jewish areas, with classrooms shortages, ageing roads and a lack of local employment opportunities.

BBC News - Israel launches economic plan for Israeli Arab towns

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