Housing Minister Uri Ariel said Sunday that he had allocated NIS 80 million to build permanent housing for refugees from Gush Katif, who nearly a decade after the forced abandonment of their homes, are still living in temporary quarters.
Besides being Housing Minister, Ariel is officially responsible for the fate of the Jews who were dispossessed from their homes in Gush Katif and northern Samaria in the 2005 Disengagement. The unilateral move resulted in hundreds of missile barrages aimed at southern Israel and two IDF operations that attempted to stop them.
Officials in Ariel's office said that the Minister did not want to allow budget cuts to affect the refugees, who have waited long enough for action. The move “displays the recognition by the government of the need to enable Gush Katif evictees to leave their temporary homes,” the officials were quoted as saying.
In a statement, Ariel's office said that the move was a significant one, since “for the past four years there has been a significant delay in progress in finding permanent housing and the construction of public institutions for the expelled residents.” The money includes a budget for housing and public institutions such as schools and community centers in the towns where they will be settling.