(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Director-General Ilan Cohen this evening (Tuesday), 31 May 2005, convened the Directors-General Forum to discuss the issue of ministries’ preparations ahead of the implementation of the Disengagement Plan.

At the beginning of the meeting, PMO Director-General Cohen said: “The Evacuation Compensation Law is the main channel that provides a full response to all settlers. Even so, the Government is going beyond the letter of the law in an effort to fulfill the requests of the groups of settlers that have turned to it and want an arrangement. The Government is also preparing a basket of possible solutions for groups that have not yet initiated official contact and we are preparing housing alternatives in mobile homes, rented apartments and permanent residences.”

The Finance Ministry Budget Division presented the costs of compensation to the settlers and noted that the compensation to an average family is approximately NIS 2 million.

Work on preparing infrastructures for temporary housing units at the Nitzan site are well underway. In order to finish the work on time, the Directors-General have directed that work be carried out at night as well. The Government is building a neighborhood of 450 mobile homes, of between 60-90 square meters each, at the Nitzan site.

The Directors-General of the Social Welfare, Health and Education ministries have been directed to take all necessary measures in order to provide public services (kindergartens, health clinics, community centers, etc.) for the population at Nitzan.

Disengagement Authority Director Yonatan Basi said that there has been an increase in the number of settlers who are contacting the Authority in order to submit compensation requests and estimated that there will be a further increase in the coming period.

At the end of the meeting, PMO Director-General Cohen announced that the Forum is expected to convene frequently during the coming weeks.