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Once Again: Ceasefire to be Announced (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Zvi Zrahiya 02/04/05)Source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/536047.html HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
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 Knesset.

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 until Tuesday.

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 submitted.

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 the amounts.

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. 02/04/05)


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