Facts About Israel’s Disengagement from the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria

NUMBER OF SETTLEMENTS EVACUATED: Gaza Strip: 21 Northern Samaria: 4 NUMBER PERSONS EVACUATED: Gaza Strip: 8470 individuals from 1812 families Northern Samaria: 670 individuals from 170 families DATES OF SETTLEMENT: 1972-1992

THE SELA AUTHORITY: In June 2004 the Government of Israel established the Sela Authority within the Office of the Prime Minister. The Authority, commonly known as the Bassi Committee (after its Chair Yonatan Bassi), is responsible for planning and coordinating the services being provided to evacuees.

TEMPORARY HOUSING: 1. At the request of the Government of Israel, Amigour, the Jewish Agency for Israel’s public housing subsidiary, arranged for the following interim housing solutions: 850 apartments at rent-controlled rates, ranging from $350-$650 per month, for a period of one year.

2. 300-350 temporary caravillas (a Hebrew term referring to upscale mobile homes) are being constructed around the coastal community of Nitzan, located between Ashdod and Ashkelon. Many of the caravillas were already occupied when the evacuation began. Others are being constructed in additional locations such as Kibbutz Ein Tsurim in the southern Shafir Region.

3. Caravans and other temporary structures are being constructed and made available to all evacuees in kibbutzim and moshavim throughout the Negev.

4. For those without immediate shelter after the evacuation, the Authority provided hotel rooms in approximately 30 hotels, soldiers’ welfare hostels and holiday cabins in locations all over the country.

COMPENSATION:

1. The Government of Israel has allocated close to $1 billion USD for compensation of disengagement evacuees.

2. Compensation is awarded according to the following criteria:

A. those who have left the evacuated areas within 48 hours after commencement of the disengagement

B. type of housing and size of land in the evacuated areas

C. length of occupancy of evacuees

D. length of employment

E. type of business enterprise

F. age of the residents

3. Compensation includes:

A. Financial compensation for special investments in homes or land for individuals who requested a special evaluation of their property in advance.

B. Refunds for initial cost of housing and a loan for purchase replacement housing, as well as a loan which becomes a grant after five years of residence for those settling in “preferred” regions designated by the government (primarily in the Negev and Galilee regions).

C. Financial compensation for the loss of a business and the possibility of an extra grant if a new business is opened in the Negev or Galilee regions.

D. Worker’s compensation for working adults who lost their employment as a result of the disengagement and are thereby legally entitled.

4. Calculation of compensation:

A. Families who have rented in the evacuated areas for less than eight years are not entitled to compensation.

B. The maximum compensation could reach 1,838,160 NIS or $409,000 USD. As would be the case for example, for a family of six (two adults and four children) who have lived in the Gaza Strip or Northern Samaria for more than 20 years and are planning to resettle in either the Negev or Galilee; the two parents are between 55-57 years of age; they are leaving a home which was built in accordance with the “Build Your Own Home” campaign; and due to their evacuation, they have both lost their livelihood.

C. Note however, that only 20% of the evacuees have been in residence 15 years or longer. A family of six living in the Gaza Strip for 14 years in a basic pre-cast home of 90 sq.m. would only be entitled to 1,003,425 NIS or $230,000 USD including compensation for loss of employment, moving costs, etc.

D. To help evacuees cope with the trauma of dislocation, the Government of Israel has allocated 10 million NIS or $ 2.2 million USD for psychological assistance. The Trauma Coalition is working to determine how and when this might be provided and what additional needs there may be, if any.

CONCERNS:

1. 3,500 school-aged evacuated children have experienced a traumatic relocation. Services will have to be created to provide extra-curricular activities that will help them to integrate into their new environment and offer healthy outlets for social interaction with their new peers.

2. In order to reduce the overwhelming sense of displacement, families will need new, permanent homes as quickly as possible. The evacuees can make an important contribution to the Negev, Galilee and Jerusalem. With development and rebuilding of these regions as one of its central strategic goals, the Jewish Agency for Israel has a special interest in encouraging as many of the evacuees as possible to consider resettling in the Negev, Galilee and Jerusalem.

Note: This document was prepared by United Jewish Communities and The Jewish Agency for Israel

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