Cabinet Finalizes Gush Katif Compensation
300 million shekel agreement ends the claims for compensation by evacuees from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/31/2011, 7:24 PM / Last Update: 7/31/2011, 8:03 PM
Gush Katif families preparing new homes
The Cabinet voted Sunday to approve a 300 million shekel agreement that ends the claims for compensation by evacuees from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria.
The government stated that the agreement "will allow for the completion of the evacuees' moves to permanent communities and their embarking on a new path. All community representatives, business owners and farmers in Gush Katif have signed the agreement."
The issue of compensation between the Government and the evacuees has been simmering for six painful years, since the implementation of the "Disengagement Plan" in 2005. The "Disengagement" was the euphemistic name given to the process in which close to 9,000 people were forced out of their homes when Israel withdrew unilaterally from Gaza and Northern Samaria.
According to the agreement, the evictees' compensation for the homes they were kicked out of will be 7-11.5% bigger than the sum previously allotted.
Agriculturalists who had land in Gush Katif and have not yet received alternative land will receive additional compensation of 400,000 shekels or a monthly payment of 3,400 shekels for 13 years. Alternatively, they will eligible for agricultural land of up to 40 dunams (about 10 acres) in accordance with the previous rules.
Also approved by the Cabinet was the closing, in mid-2013, of the Tenufa Administration that deals with the claims and problems of the former Gaza settlers, and the transfer of its responsibilities to the relevant ministries.
The agreement was achieved between the sides following accelerated work by the Tenufa Administration, led by Prime Minister's Office Director-General Eyal Gabai and Gush Katif Residents' Committee Chairman Doron Ben-Shlomi.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that a human tragedy which had continued for years had been brought to a close today. "The evacuees may now focus on rehabilitating their lives," the Prime Minister said.
The Chairman of Tenufa, Bentzi Lieberman, called the agreement "the completion of [the paying] of a moral debt owed by the State of Israel and its citizens to the people evicted from Gush Katif."
"The enlargement of the compensation is a turning point that makes it possible for the evictees to complete the construction of their homes. Our role is to implement the decisions with all our energy and help the communities and families move into permanent homes as soon as possible."
The Knesset plenum will vote Wednesday on the final readings of the bill ending the claims for compensation.