The Knesset State Control Committee on Tuesday discussed the situation of Israelis who were evacuated from the Gush Katif settlement bloc during the disengagement from Gaza in 2005. The discussion focused on the evacuees who have yet to move to permanent homes.

Committee Chairman Amnon Cohen (Shas) said, ”The state uprooted people from their homes and brought upon them genuine and difficult distress, and they should be compensated; their dignity, homes, land and livelihood must be returned to them.”

Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (HaBayit HaYehudi) mentioned that 143 evacuee families that are socioeconomically weak have yet to begin building their permanent residences. ”The state failed to solve the problem and deal with them appropriately,” he said.

”We`ll work with each family individually in order to implement the plans we have drafted for them and advance these plans in the Treasury, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation and the accountant general`s office. We hope to get the last families out of the caravan sites within six months,” Minister Ariel told the committee.

Shlomo Hassidim of the Tax Authority said some 65 evacuees filed their tax reports three or four years late and were consequently fined NIS 72,000 each. The fines were canceled, he noted, but the debt due to interest and inflation remained. MK Cohen called on the Treasury to issue an ordinance determining that evacuees cannot be fined for filing their tax reports late.