World

Israel official: Government pumping millions into West Bank settlements ahead of elections

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 7, 2009 file photo, an Israeli flag is seen in front of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Israel's outgoing government is pumping millions of dollars into Jewish settlements in the West Bank for public buildings and roads ahead of national elections, an official said Tuesday, in which opponents said is a political ploy aimed at gaining favor with hardline voters.  (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 7, 2009 file photo, an Israeli flag is seen in front of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Israel's outgoing government is pumping millions of dollars into Jewish settlements in the West Bank for public buildings and roads ahead of national elections, an official said Tuesday, in which opponents said is a political ploy aimed at gaining favor with hardline voters. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)  (The Associated Press)

An Israeli official says the government is pumping millions of dollars into Jewish settlements in the West Bank for public buildings and roads ahead of national elections.

The official said Tuesday that the spending spree is using money that had been held up by former Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who was fired early this month in a move that helped trigger the early election. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Lapid this week asked Israel's attorney general to stop the transfer of funds, saying the move was politically motivated ahead of the March election.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, captured by Israel in 1967, as part of a future state. The international community opposes Israeli settlement construction.