Israeli successive governments have invested billions of dollars in building and expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since June 1967 war.
There is no comprehensive official figure on the amounts that have been spent on settlement since 1967, but the Ministry of Finance, which publishes part of the invested amounts yearly, talked about spending 3.5 billion dollars from 2003 to 2015 in the West Bank alone. This does not include the enormous cost of infrastructure, such as bypass roads for settlers or security measures around settlements.
It does not take into account the settlements in annexed East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed with West Jerusalem as its eternal capital, despite the international community’s refusal to recognize it, nor the settlements in the Gaza Strip, which were dismantled and 8,000 settlers and soldiers were evacuated in 2005.
“Israel has invested 20 billion dollars in settlement activity over the past 50 years,” said Robbie Natanson, director of the non-governmental organization Macro Center for Political Economics, which reports on settlements. He adds that the total area of settlement buildings in the West Bank has increased by 100% in 18 years. To encourage settlement expansion, each settler receives an average of three times more of government aid and subsidies than Israelis in Israel receive.
Shlomo Svirski, from the non-governmental organization (Adva Center), estimates the settlement cost at 15.2 billion dollars for the period from 1988 to 2015. He adds that these expenses represent a “burden on the state contributes to deepening social differences, since the money is spent on settlement and defense instead of Social projects