(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The Exceptional Cases Committee, which has been operating in accordance with the Cabinet decision regarding the Disengagement Plan, has completed its work.  The Exceptional Cases Committee was charged with examining projects whose financing is being shared by the Government and whose implementation was not completed by 6 June 2004 – the day of the Cabinet decision.  The Committee determined in which cases the implementation process on the ground would cease and in which cases they would proceed until completion.

Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Ilan Cohen chaired the Committee; the other members were Justice Ministry Director-General Aharon Abramovitz, Finance Ministry Director-General Yossi Bachar, Social Affairs Ministry Director-General Prof. Dov Goldberger and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yosef Mishlav.

On instructions from Prime Minister Sharon, the Committee approved the continued implementation of projects affecting the level of security of residents of the area or projects whose implementation was vital to maintaining daily life in the area, such as providing municipal services and vital services to residents.  All projects whose continued implementation was approved by the Committee met one of these two criteria.

The Committee held seven discussions over the past six months and discussed, in detail, 387 projects, costing approximately NIS 82 million.  From Committee decisions, it arises that:

* The continued implementation of approximately 25% of the projects was rejected;
* The continued implementation of approximately 25% of the projects was approved due to their vital nature;
* Approximately 50% of the projects were completed before 6.6.04 but funds for payment have yet to be released.

The Committee turned to all government ministries for reports on projects in northern Samaria and the Gaza Strip whose implementation had been approved by 6.6.04.  The submitted reports included the following details: nature of the project, location on the ground, status of implementation, cost, sources of financing and contractual obligations.  In order to verify the data, the Prime Minister’s Office hired an outside body to check the data.  The checks were carried out in government ministries and in the field and were attested to with documents, approvals and photographs.  The Prime Minister’s Office Legal Adviser assisted the Committee throughout its work.

The Committee worked with transparency and sensitivity, and reported its decisions from time-to-time to government ministries and the Gaza Coast and Samaria Regional Councils.