Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Yonatan Bassi. Time to rest
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Bassi: Evacuees victims of gov't
Disengagement Authority head says State owes evacuated settlers 'almost anything,' as they fell victim to its policy. I salute evacuees, he states
Yonatan Bassi, head of the Disengagement Authority, is set to retire his post within one month and be replaced by Tzvia Shimon, who currently serves as deputy director-general at the prime Minister's officer, PM Ehud Olmert announced Wednesday.


"Despite the fact we stood at the most difficult friction point with the settlers, I salute their nobleness," Bassi said. "I'm proud for
having been given the opportunity to stand at this historic junction at a time Israel made one of its most difficult decisions of the last generation," he added.


"I do not regret having fulfilled this role, although I did not ask for it. A man like myself would not turn his back and run when the prime minister approaches him with such a request – I didn't feel I have the moral right to refuse such a request. Although it wasn't easy, I report to duty when being summoned."


Referring to the deep crisis the evacuees have been undergoing since the pullout, Bassi said: "the State of Israel owes the evacuees almost anything. I think that they are the victims of a government decision, which, while it was taken democratically, still hurt them badly. I laud them."


When asked what his plans were, now that he was retiring from the position, Bassi said he intends to get as much rest as possible. "Anything I do afterwards will seem like resting in comparison to what I have experienced in this role. Although I feel a certain sense of responsibility for not staying two more years, until the building of the permanent residences is completed, since now all the houses are under construction, it seems like a good time to pass on the task."


"I think that Tzvia is a deserving, talented and accomplished woman, and I am certain she will succeed in completing what we have started," he concluded.


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