(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Ilan Cohen, this evening (Tuesday), 5 April 2005, convened a meeting of the directors-general forum.

The directors-general met with residents from Moshav Ein Habesor, who were evacuated from Yamit in 1982, in order to learn social and psychological lessons from the period of the evacuation from Sinai.

The Ein Habesor residents described their personal evacuation experiences and noted that during the evacuation of Yamit the political echelon was insufficiently prepared vis-a-vis providing a support network to accompany the evacuees throughout the process. They said that their having formed large and cohesive groups significantly eased the transition and even added a note of optimism when they said, "There is life after evacuation and Moshav Ein Habesor, which we built, testifies to this."

Education Ministry Southern District Director Amira Chaim presented a working plan, according to which the government will accompany students, teachers and principals who currently live in the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria from now, through the evacuation itself and for approximately one year after the implementation of the plan. She said that all teachers and principals in the areas designated for evacuation have attended special seminars that have provided them with the professional tools to explain and present the expected plan to the students. Moreover, the Education Ministry has built a database that includes the names of all students in the areas. Education Ministry data indicates that there are 2,800 students and 300 teachers in the areas designated for evacuation. As the evacuation day approaches, the Education Ministry will operate a 24-hour telephone switchboard for parents’ questions, which will provide a response on issues arising from the implementation of the plan.

Industry, Trade and Employment Ministry Deputy Director-General Ra’anan Dinur presented a plan for placing residents in jobs. He said that the government would provide special care for evacuees that will be adapted to their needs. The government would also operate retraining programs, to the extent necessary.

Disengagement Authority Director Yonatan Basi said that Authority personnel were coordinating between the various ministries and are in constant contact with the residents.

Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Cohen called on those present to accelerate activity ahead of the implementation of the Disengagement Plan and announced that the forum would reconvene often in the coming weeks in order to prepare the civilian-social aspects ahead of the implementation of the plan.