Ministers: Gush Katif Solution?

A ministerial committee on the Gaza-Samaria expulsion vicitms met to set guidelines for finding immediate solutions for their plight.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz , | updated: 7:22 PM

Minister Daniel Hershkowitz
Minister Daniel Hershkowitz
Israel National News photo / Flash 90

The Ministerial Committee on the Gaza-Samaria Evacuees met on Tuesday to set guidelines for finding immediate solutions for former residents of Gaza and northern Samaria who were expelled from their homes in the 2005 "Disengagement".

Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz (Jewish Home), who chairs the ministerial committee, told Arutz Sheva that the Netanyahu government will take a more active and responsible approach to the evacuees. After four years, the failure of the government to rehabilitate the majority of the Gaza and Samaria residents is "a shame and a disgrace - I  have not a single word to say in defense of it," he said.

Speaking directly following the committee meeting, Hershkowitz added, "All the coalition ministers are of the opinion that this government must behave differently and achieve complete solutions for all of the problems. We will make every effort to lift this disgrace from us."

Hershkowitz noted that some of the evicted families are in a worse state now than when they were when first forcibly removed from their Gaza homes. The "unending foot-dragging" must come to an end, he said.

"In order to move things along faster, and in order to enable work in several different directions simultaneously," Hershkowitz explained, the committee established an inter-ministerial team headed by Rabbi Dr. Ofir Cohen to come up specific and thorough proposals. The team is assigned to determine which ministries are responsible for handling each evacuee issue, which possible solutions require governmental decisions, which require new legislation, and to present several alternatives to the Ministerial Committee on the Gaza-Samaria Evacuees.

Hershkowitz believes that with this plan of action, all the interrelated challenges still facing the former Gaza-Samaria residents "will be completely resolved very soon." He added that there has been some progress already, after the previous meeting of the committee he heads invigorated a compromise between the SELA Administration, responsible for the expelees since 2005, and the victms themselves.

Regarding a recent Maagar Mohot public opinion poll indicating that 70 percent of Israelis believe the government treatment of the Disengagement evictees was negligent, Hershkowitz commented bitterly: "I am surprised it is only 70 percent that think so."