ASHKELON - The Disengagement Authority gave its authorization Tuesday for the building of a new, seaside neighborhood in Ashkelon for the settlers of Nisanit, who are slated for evacuation during the scheduled pullout from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.
The area was initially zoned for a high-class golf resort.
The plan was agreed upon at a meeting with Askelon Mayor Roni Mahatzri, Disengagement Authority Head Yonatan Bassi, and other officials.
"I think the Disengagement Authority is ready to push this idea primarily because it's a project that can begin tomorrow without too much red tape," Saar Reshef, lawyer for the Nisanit settlers, said.
The golf resort was an ambitious project by the Ashkelon municipality, which wanted to create a rival site to the golf club in Ceasaria. However, the real estate investor ran into financial difficulties, and the property fell under the control of Discount Bank.
The prospective settler neighborhood would sit on a quarter of a dunam (one-eighth of an acre) of land and very close to the upscale Ashkelon neighborhood of Barnea.
Instead of getting financial compensation, the settlers will get plots bought by the Authority at a reduced rate.
Everyone is happy
"The property is city land, with all the services and development, as opposed to Nitzanim …" Reshef said.
Mayor Mahatzri was also happy as the idea of self-government for the Nisanit evacuees was shelved.
Meanwhile, the settlers of Neveh Dekalim are looking for their own beachfront property in Ashkelon, and the mayor said that the municipality has set aside land for them as well.