Once Again: Ceasefire to be Announced (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Zvi Zrahiya 02/04/05)
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The Knesset Finance Committee plans to start voting on Sunday on the
bill to implement the disengagement, dubbed the evacuation
compensation law, to ready it for its second and third reading in the
However, the coalition does not have a majority to pass the bill in
the committee, 10 of whose members oppose it, while only eight
support it. Committee chairman MK Yaakov Litzman (Agudat Yisrael) is
sitting shiva for his mother and will be absent from the Knesset
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his aides are pressing the committee
to approve the bill at the beginning of the week, so that the Knesset
can vote on it on Wednesday, after a plenum debate.
MK Avraham Shochat (Labor), who is conducting the committee´s
sessions on the bill, said he would act to muster a majority in the
committee by Sunday.
Sharon and his aides are pressuring right-wing MKs to support the
bill, which has undergone numerous alterations in the Knesset
committee, including a considerable increase of the amount of
compensation to be paid the evacuated settlers. Sharon´s men
explained to the opposing MKs that if the committee rejects the bill,
the Knesset will be asked to vote on the original government bill,
which sets out far lower compensation awards.
Shochat says he is determined to start voting on the bill on Sunday,
but it is not clear whether the Knesset would be able to vote on the
bill next Wednesday, as scheduled, in view of the numerous changes to
the bill and the lack of a majority in the committee.
Yesterday the committee received a new draft of the bill, but was
told it is not the final one. On Sunday an updated version will be
At yesterday´s committee session, MKs Zvi Hendel (National Union) and
Nissim Dahan (Shas) held a filibuster to obstruct the debate and
delay legislative action.
Knesset sources estimated the cost of compensation to the settlers
will be NIS 1.3-1.5 billion higher than the sum cited in the original
government proposal, following the efforts of some MKs to increase
MK Haim Oron (Yahad) said the committee "will prepare a fair bill
that will give the settlers fair compensation."
Oron and other MKs yesterday demanded that the treasury and Justice
Ministry increase the compensation outlined in the original bill for
each settler over 18, according to the number of years he spent in
the settlement, and for greenhouse owners. (© Copyright 2005 Haaretz.
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