(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Office)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today (Sunday), 29 October 2006, convened the Ministerial Committee on the Gaza Evacuees. Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai, Minister Yaacov Edry, Minister Rafi Eitan, Minister Yitzhak Cohen, SELA Disengagement Authority Director Tzvia Shimon and the directors-general of the relevant ministries attended the meeting.

Prime Minister Olmert said: “I was a major supporter of the disengagement but it cannot be that residents’ issues are dragging out for so long. We must take all measures at our disposal in order to prevent excessive bureaucracy that lacks compassion for the residents. Unnecessary government bureaucracy that is obstructing many processes for the residents must be overcome. I hope that my remarks will get things moving on the ground. I intend to personally check on this issue.”

SELA Disengagement Authority Director Shimon submitted a report regarding – inter alia – claims that have been filed against the Authority and the total compensation that has been paid thus far.

Ministers were briefed on the status of temporary residential sites and the construction of permanent housing, as well as on social welfare, employment, agriculture and education issues. Prime Minister Olmert instructed Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Ra’anan Dinur to summon the ministers and directors-general of the relevant ministries to an urgent meeting on the agriculture issue.