Only three out of the 700 business owners evacuated from the Gaza Strip received their compensation package so far. However, 550 businesses did not even apply for compensation, according to data presented during a session of the ministerial committee for disengagement affairs.
During the meeting, ministers asked for NIS 48 million to be earmarked for evacuees, including NIS 47 million for footing former settlers’ hotel bills and another million for various ends, including psychological help for evacuees.
Prime Minister Sharon and Ministers Isaac Herzog and Shalom Simhon voted in favor in the proposal, with Minister Ophir Pines voting against it. Minister Tzipi Livni did not attend the session.
463 families still in hotels
During the meeting, PM Sharon was upset to discover only three of 700 business owners were compensated and demanded that his office’s director-general, Ilan Cohen, convene the committee within a week to resolve problems still pending.
According to estimates by the ministers in the meeting, 550 businesses did not submit a request for compensation because of the red tape involved in filing such requests.
Meanwhile, the committee also discussed a proposal to provide 500 evacuees with government jobs in a bid to resolve the unemployment problem faced by some former settlers.
According to data provided during the session, 463 evacuated families are still housed at hotels, compared to 1,200 families who were staying in hotels in the first days after the pullout. The extra funds earmarked by the government would allow the evacuees to stay in hotels until December 29.