Gaza families okay Ashkelon relocation (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Nir Hasson 02/02/05)
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Dozens of families from two Gaza Strip settlements signed an
agreement in principle yesterday that will see them move to a farming
community near Ashkelon.
Representatives from the Disengagement Administration, which deals
with the plan to dismantle all of the settlements in the Gaza Strip
and four in the northern West Bank, agreed to give each of the
families $30,000 and a two-acre plot of land at Moshav Bat Hadar.
The families - residents of the settlements of Nissanit and Elei
Sinai - agreed to leave their homes because "of the uncertainty the
government has forced upon us," a resident of Elei Sinai opposed to
the agreement said yesterday.
The signing of a full agreement depends on the Knesset´s approval of
the evacuation-compensation bill.
In Elei Sinai, considered an ideological settlement, almost half of
the residents refused to meet with the head of the Disengagement
Administration, Yonatan Bassi, in order to discuss the
evacuation. "At the end of the day, they will live to regret it,"
said one resident.
The Disengagement Administration said it was discussing with other
groups of settlers their possible evacuation to towns in the Ashkelon
Gush Katif spokesman Eran Sternberg said he "was not surprised that
Bassi boasts over every family he manages to get [to evacuate]."
"The Prime Minister Office has already speculated that most of the
Gush Katif residents would evacuate willingly, but they remain strong
and are not impressed by the [Disengagement] Administration´s
production," Sternberg said.
Meanwhile, Transportation Minister Meir Sheetrit said yesterday that
the government does not plan to establish new settlements in the West
Bank to house settlers evacuated from Gush Katif. Sheetrit is
responsible for the evacuation-compensation bill, which specifies the
mechanisms of settler compensation. He made his comments during a
session of the Knesset´s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. (©
Copyright 2005 Haaretz. 02/02/05)
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