'A regional council in a West Bank settlement has used public funds to build a state-of-the-art racetrack, despite lacking a government permit, with an Israeli ministry allocating a further $1 million grant pending approval.
The Aravot Hayarden Regional Council in the Israeli-occupied West Bank spent some $76,000 in public funds last year to build a race track near Petza'el settlement, a Freedom of Information request, filed by the Peace Now group and the Movement for Freedom of Information, shows, as reported by Haaretz.
The problem with the long-running project, which had been under construction since at least 2016, is that it never received an approval from the Israeli authorities. The track is a private business, but it has been heavily backed by the regional council, which has supported it financially and has sought to legalize it, albeit retroactively.
While the project received early legal approval in February, it is still not enough for the construction to go underway. The Israeli government, meanwhile, has appeared to turn a blind eye to the violation of its own laws when it comes to infrastructure for Israeli settlers.
Last year, the Israeli Interior Ministry even allocated a hefty 4.145 million shekels [ $1.119 million] grant to complete the racing facility.
Speaking to Haaretz, the ministry has attempted to distance itself from the illegal construction, saying that "despite this approval in principle, no money at all has been released to the council for this."'
Read more: Israeli settlers built illegal race track in occupied West Bank with $76,000 of public funds
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