The head of a committe that oversees Israel's pullout plan controls land that will house evacuated Gaza settlers, Ynetnews learned on Wednesday, marking his real estate firm the first company to benefit from the withdrawal.
Yonatan Bassi, chief of the Disengagement Authority, heads the Mehadrin real estate company, a firm that owns a 2,000 dunam (494 acres) area between Ashkelon and Ashdod slated for a major building project to house Gaza evacuees.
In the past, the company has tried unsuccessfully to develop the area. But conditions now appear ripe for Mehadrin to develop the area new settlement north of Ashkelon.
In addition, Mehadrin also invested in a Gaza corporation owes it NIS 15 million (USD 3.3 million), which it will be able to pay off using compensation it will receive after Israel pulls out of all 21 settlements in Gaza. The withdrawal is set to start on Aug. 17.
Bank Discount also stands to benefit from the disengagement.
The bank has recently registered huge losses as a result of failed real estate investments, but now stands to recover approximately NIS 131 million (USD 29 million) for at least two failed projects from the Disengagement Authority following the pullout.
Five industrial building companies that have tried without success until now to peddle their wares to Israel's dormant construction industry can also be counted amongst the biggest beneficiaries of the pullout.
Rolan, Mizrahi, Projector, Caesar and Arousi all produce mobile homes that will be used to house Gaza evacuees (known in Hebrew as "cara-villas"). They are slated to receive between NIS 147,000-274,000 (USD 32,600 -60,000) per unit for more than 400 homes at the Nitzan,Mavki'im, Yad Binyamin and Yad Chana evacuation sites.
Dozens of infrastructure contractors and defense department service providers, mostly chosen without benefit of a public tender, are currently building the evacuation site in Nitzan.
One such company, Amigur, is a daughter company of the Jewish Agency and is headed by Labor Party member Yuval Frankel. It was chosen to oversee the Nitzan site, in addition to its contract to build 850 apartments for Gaza evacuees and will receive five percent of the profits from the transaction.
Finally, the moving companies, who will transport the belongings of 1,700 families, will reap about NIS 10 million (USD 2.2 million) during the pullout.
Eight companies won tenders to supply 500 workers, hundreds of moving trucks to work around the clock at the height of the industry's busiest season, August.