A few months ago, when the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to expand settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, it didn’t take long for Israelis to wonder: Where is all the money going?
In the past few years, the Israeli government has spent tens of millions of dollars on a series of programs, including a $500 million deal to build a large cement plant in the Galilee and an expansion of the Iron Dome missile defense system in the Negev desert.
These moves, and other government investments in the area, have enabled Israeli-backed companies to compete with local companies, boost their economies and increase their employment.
But in the past year, many Israelis have begun to question how they will support their own companies and businesses, as the construction of settlements in the Occupied Territories and the establishment of settlements on Palestinian land has become a key element of Israel’s strategy.
Many Israelis have also been questioning whether the government is giving them enough to support their livelihoods and families.
“This government is taking away our right to work, but it is taking care of some of the problems that we have in our communities,” said Zvi Gafni, who works as a software developer for an Israeli company.
“We are the ones who are not living in our own homes.
We are living in a building that belongs to Israel.
Why should we pay for a building which belongs to another country?
We have been here for decades, and they are just taking the land away from us.”
Gafni has recently started taking his frustrations out on the government.
He recently created an online petition calling on Netanyahu to reconsider his plan to expand the construction in his homeland.
“I have become a bit tired of this, and I don’t want to give them any more money,” he said.
Gafnei said he was angry with the government’s lack of transparency and accountability in its policies, especially regarding the settlement activity.
“I am tired of being lied to.
The government is telling me things that are not true,” he added.”
They don’t have to do this, because they are getting a lot of support from the United States and the European Union,” he told Al Jazeera.
Gabbi and other supporters of the petition said they had been calling on the Israeli parliament to review the policies of the government, particularly regarding the building projects.
“The way that Netanyahu talks about the settlements, it is the same as when he said that he was the first to establish settlements,” said Gabbi, a political science graduate student at the University of Haifa.
“And he also told me, ‘We will continue building until you die’.
And I told him, ‘I will not die.'”
Gabbic said he decided to take action after a conversation with a senior Israeli cabinet minister, where he explained to him that he did not want the construction to continue.
“It’s a very difficult situation.
I feel that this is the right thing to do.
I believe that it is in the interests of the Palestinian people, and in the interest of the Israeli state, and also the interests for the Palestinians themselves,” he explained.
Gaffni, the software developer, said he feels betrayed by the government for not allowing him to take advantage of the economic opportunities offered by the settlement construction.
“He is using this to benefit his own people, the wealthy, and it’s not helping the Palestinians,” he argued.
“For me, it’s like a black eye,” Gaffni added.
According to a survey conducted by the Israeli NGO Yesh Din in June, one-third of Israelis said they were worried about the security of their homes and jobs, compared to 20% in 2014.
The survey also found that only 14% of Israeli citizens believed the government was doing enough to secure their homes.
Gahzi, the Palestinian who lives in the same building that is owned by a private Israeli company, said that although she was pleased that the government had agreed to allow her to keep her home, she was disappointed that she was not given the chance to purchase it outright.
“When we have a home and the land is not ours, the property is ours, it gives me a bit of peace,” she said.
“And we are in a state of desperation.”
Gabbni and other activists in the movement said they are concerned about the future of their communities, with many concerned about economic development and job creation, as well as the security and safety of their families.
Gakiba, who is also a software programmer, said she is worried about security.
“We are living under the Israeli occupation, and we are the refugees, so what can we do?” she asked.
“Our homes are our property, and all of our rights are tied to them.
But we are still living in an area that has been confiscated from us.
We need to go back to our homes and try to protect them.
We have no option but