Gush Katif Commission Orders Govt: 'Get Your Act Together'

Commission tells government: Make sure ministries know that solving the Gush Katif problem is a number-one priority.

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Hillel Fendel,

Gush Katif, once upon a time
Gush Katif, once upon a time
Israel news photo

The Supreme Court-appointed commission investigating the government’s treatment of the expelled residents of Gush Katif has issued its interim report. The upshot is that the government, and its various ministries, have not treated the matter with the urgency it demands.

“Taking the families out of their homes, confiscating their properties, cutting off their source of sustenance and detaching the various circles of their lives – all that took less than two weeks,” the report states, “but rehabilitating the families has not yet concluded even now, more than four years later. Even worse, it appears that the end of this process is not even on the horizon.”

“The Prime Minister must enact all the practical measures, with the goal of getting the various government ministries to work immediately and spiritedly. Real content must be poured into the declaration that ‘helping the evacuees is a national mission.’”

Ironically, Netanyahu objected to the Disengagement, and even resigned as Finance Minister in protest. However, many said that he should have taken this position earlier, when it might have made a difference. He explained that he did not resign earlier in order not to endanger his revolutionary economic reforms.

The interim report states that there is no excuse for the fact that public buildings are not being constructed in the new communities, or that negotiations for the relocation of four communities have not been concluded. The committee stated that if contracts on the latter are not signed by Dec. 31 of this year, it will be forced to issue its own opinion on whose fault it is.

Former Justice Eliyahu Matza, who heads the committee, said today, “We felt it appropriate to issue this interim report now to point out the critical problems in terms of rehabilitating the evacuees, in order to give the new government a chance to solve them.”