Israel approves budget meant to improve conditions for Arab minority

Israel's Cabinet has approved a reported billion-dollar budget meant to improve the living conditions of the country's Arab minority.

Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel's 8.4 million citizens. Although they hold full citizenship rights, they suffer from discrimination in areas like housing and employment. They are among Israel's poorest citizens.

The government did not release the exact amount approved Wednesday. Israeli media reported it was between 10 and 15 billion shekels (2.5 billion to 3.8 billion dollars), to be spread over four to five years.

The investment will focus on education, transportation, housing, culture and sport.

The budget comes amid an outburst of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has claimed 21 Israeli lives and more than 130 Palestinian lives, including 89 said by Israel to be assailants.