(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon this morning (Monday), 4 July 2005, convened a meeting of the Ministerial Disengagement Committee.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz’s Military Secretary, Brig.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, briefed ministers on the security establishment’s preparations ahead of the implementation of the Disengagement Plan in the military sphere and in regard to the evacuation of both infrastructure and personal belongings.

Israel Police Commissioner Yosef Karadi announced that the Israel Police would allow the holding of protests and demonstrations that are coordinated with the police and which abide by the law. He briefed ministers on the main missions for the police during the disengagement period: Evacuating residents, preventing disturbances around the country, showing an increased presence in and around Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, providing security for people who have been threatened, securing government institutions, maintaining public security, and keeping to ongoing routine duties. He said that the Public Security Ministry intends to set up an information center to answer citizens’ questions when the areas designated for evacuation are closed off.

The Israel Police is now carrying out special training for police personnel who will participate in implementing the Disengagement Plan; 14,134 police personnel have been trained so far. In addition, a special unit has been set up, in cooperation with the State Prosecutor’s Office, to investigate those who disturb the peace. Reservists will be called up to back up the Israel Police forces.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni noted that additional judges have been assigned in order to minimize the expected caseload during the disengagement period. Additionally, hearing rooms will be set up close to the Ma’asiyahu and Dekel prisons, which will be used as courtrooms during this period.  Judges will be able to come to prisoners, thus obviating the need to transport the latter from place to place.

Industry, Trade and Employment Ministry Director-General Ra’anan Dinor said that an employment center was inaugurated in Ashkelon on 20 June 2005. The center will assist all residents from the Gaza Strip; another branch was established in northern Samaria. The employment center is open daily from 08:00-20:00.  An employment center representative will take the residents’ information and will then examine their various employment options. It is assumed that this center will continue to function after the disengagement is completed.

SELA Disengagement Authority Director Yonatan Basi presented the work of the eligibility committee and the pace at which compensation payments are being made to those who are entitled. As of today, approximately 400 requests have been submitted by individuals and are being dealt with. Negotiations are also being held between groups of residents who are interested in moving together as a group to existing communities. These groups include approximately 500 families.

Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Ilan Cohen reported that over 1,500 temporary housing solutions would be available to residents on the day of evacuation. These include – inter alia – 450 mobile homes, 84 mobile homes in reserve and a list of approximately 900 rental apartments for which the Government has arranged options for the settlers. He said that temporary housing solutions for all families from northern Samaria and the Gaza Strip have been completed.

Education Ministry Southern District Director Amira Haim said that 2,600 students from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria have registered for activities over the summer. The process of transferring teachers out of the areas to be evacuated has begun.