Tourism Ministry offering grants to build, expand Judea and Samaria hotels

The initiative fills the gap created by the exclusion of Judea and Samaria from an existing law that provides financial benefits for developing hotels.

By World Israel News Staff 

The Tourism Ministry is offering a grant of 20 percent to encourage developers to build or expand hotels in Judea and Samaria, according to a report in the Israel Hayom daily.

According to the ministry, there are not enough lodging accommodations in the region to meet the demand, says the paper, noting that the need for additional accommodations was made clear at a meeting earlier this year between the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria and tourism operators in the area.

The offer reportedly applies to the Jordan Valley as well.

Outgoing Tourism Minister Yariv Levin is said to be the leading force in pushing this initiative. Levin is expected to become justice minister in the new government currently in the works following the April 9 Knesset election. It is not clear who the new tourism minister will be.

The plan is a way of circumventing an existing law that provides financial assistance for hotel development but which does not apply to Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, Israel Hayom explains.

Before the Knesset election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to impose Israeli law on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. During the election campaign, the tourism minister vowed that the next government would expand a Jewish presence in these territories.

However, no move on imposing Israeli law is expected until after U.S. President Donald Trump publicly announces his long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan after Ramadan, which falls this year on June 4.

“We thank minister Levin for his important work in the realm of tourism in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley,” said Yesha Council Chairman Hananel Dorani, as quoted by Israel Hayom.

“The establishment of hotel and lodging facilities is an important step, proving the depths of our roots in the land, and sets the stage for the extension of Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria,” he added.