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Photo: Efrat Weiss
Evacuating Neve Dekalim
Photo: Efrat Weiss
Barak: State has one week to pay settlers
Photo: Alex kolomoisky
Court orders State to pay evacuees
Despite pledges, government has failed to pay former settlers, petitioners say
The State is obligated to pay settlers evacuated during the Gaza and northern West Bank pullout an initial advance within one week, the High Court ruled Thursday following an emergency petition filed by the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel.

 

According to Attorney Yossi Fuchs from the Forum, the petition was submitted on behalf of hundreds of families from former Gaza Strip settlements, including Neve Dekalim and Ganei Tal, who claim the government has not fulfilled its obligation of paying each family an initial amount of NIS 50,000 (USD 10,600).

 

"The families were told that the moment they register at a hotel, they'll receive an initial advance. To this day they have not received anything," he said.

 

However, the State pledged Thursday morning to pay the initial sums to any settler who did not engage in violent or rowdy behavior during disengagement.

 

"Regretfully, in order for the residents to receive this prized procession they have had to undergo hardships and tribulations for three months. All this, in order to receive something they should have been given a while ago," he said.

 

'Evacuation-humiliation law'

 

Former Neve Dekalim resident Dana Zelinger was evacuated to Jerusalem's Gold Hotel following the pullout and still resides there today.

 

"I was evacuated three months ago; I was taken out of my home that I paid for in full. I had a shop at the Neve Dekalim commercial center, I had income. Today the business is closed and the stock is stored in boxes," she told Ynet.

 

"I have not received one shekel from the State since," she said.

 

"I filled out all the forms and received an estimate from the State, which had initiated the offer of the advancements and still – I have not received one shekel as advancement," she said, adding that she approached the Disengagement Administration three times.

 

"Even today, the clerk told me funds would be transferred into my bank account," she said. "I went to my bank manager and he laughed and said that the bank received one transfer per day during the past week."

 

Zelinger told Ynet that she spent all her money on products and had to return money to her suppliers once she closed her shop.

 

"I have a large overdraft in the bank based on the amount that I should be receiving," she said. "It is the evacuation-humiliation law, not evacuation-compensation."

 

"I demand the government, which invested all its energy in the eviction, invest the same energy so that people will receive what they legally deserve."

 

High Court Justice Aharon Barak told Fuchs following court deliberations that if the payments are not issued within one week, the evacuees may approach the court once more. 

 

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