PM Sharon: "We will make every effort to preserve evacuees’ communities."

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon this morning (Wednesday), 24 August 2005, chaired a meeting of the Ministerial Disengagement Committee and made the following remarks at the start of the meeting: “The Government will continue its main effort to resettle all of the settlers in new places and will make every effort possible in order to shorten the time in which the settlers live in a lack of clarity.”

The Prime Minister also referred to the evacuation of Homesh and Sa-Nur: “I think that this finished pretty well in comparison to our concerns.”

Construction and Housing Ministry Director-General Shmuel Abuav reported that there are hundreds of housing solutions, permanent and temporary, ready for the immediate absorption of settlers: There are approximately 600 apartments ready to be moved into, including three clusters of 60-70 apartments in each cluster. These clusters could serve as a temporary housing solution to groups of settlers that are interested in continuing to live together. There are over 140 apartments in four main centers that are also ready for families’ immediate entry. There are 12 vacant housing units at kibbutz Karmiya, 25 at kibbutz Mefalsim, six at kibbutz Or Haner and there are 100 vacant deluxe mobile homes at Nitzan. Construction and Housing Ministry Director-General Abuav said that: “These are finished housing units and people could move into them today.”

SELA Disengagement Authority Director Yonatan Basi said that up until now, the Government has rented over 3,000 hotel rooms, with approximately 600 still being vacant. He added: “At the moment, a major portion of the communities are in a state in which they are unable to decide and thus they are requesting time in which to decide exactly where they want to go.”

A security establishment official briefed the Committee on the events that occurred during the evacuation of Sa-Nur and Homesh. He said that several vehicles were either burned or set alight at the entrance to Sa-Nur, an IDF communications unit (worth $1.5 million) was set alight, and two soldiers were stabbed. The IDF estimates that by the weekend, the various forces will disperse to their regular duties. 

The Industry, Trade and Employment Ministry reports that as of today, 204 people had applied to the placement center. Center representatives have recently visited the hotels in which evacuated settlers are lodging.  In this context, Prime Minister Sharon said that, “It is important that you do not wait and that you go to the settlers themselves.”

The Immigrant Absorption Ministry reported that social workers and absorption counselors are in touch with all of the immigrants who were evacuated from the various communities. Ministry data indicates that all of the immigrants who were dispersed in the various communities evacuated willingly and have found housing solutions.

Prime Minister Sharon said: “There have been many mendacious statements regarding the Government’s intention to disband these communities. So that it is unequivocally clear: It is the Government that applied to the settlers and suggested that they preserve their communities. We are very interested in this and are making every effort so that this is carried out. The various centers must be visited constantly in order to locate problems that require attention. Make an effort to speed things along.”