• An Israeli woman draped with a rainbow gay pride flag with the Star of David walks past Israeli border policemen during the annual Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade. (AFP / Getty Images / Gali Tibbon)Source: AFP / Getty Images / Gali Tibbon
The funding will go toward combatting LGBT+ discrimination, as well as support groups for the community.
Stephanie Marie Anderson

10 Oct 2016 - 4:04 PM  UPDATED 10 Oct 2016 - 4:04 PM

Over the next two years, Israel will spend $5 million on funding for initiatives that benefit the Israeli LGBTQIA+ community, reports PinkNews.

Announced last Wednesday, the money will go toward LGBT+ support groups and student groups, as well as anti-discrimination programming and a panel dedicated to approving gender reassignment surgeries.

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There will also be new jobs in every government ministry created specifically to tackle discrimination against the LGBT+ community.

The announcement follows criticism from Israeli LGBT+ activists over the government's decision to spend $2.86 million on advertising to bring international tourists to Pride earlier this year, while spending only $386k on support for LGBT+ groups.

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Israel is considered one of the more progressive countries in the Middle East when it comes to LGBT+ issues. Although the country does not have marriage equality, a recent poll reported that 76% of the population supports it, and they do recognise civil unions and same-sex marriages if they've been married in a different country. Their army also permits gay and transgender soldiers.