(photo credit: AP [file])
A ministerial committee on Wednesday approved a NIS 500 million addition to the compensation budget for families evacuated from Gush Katif and northern Samaria during the 2005 disengagement.
The monetary addition was meant to resolve issues which remained unaccounted for in the original compensation law.
Editorial: The forgotten evacuees (archive)
The Union of Gush Katif Residents expressed its gratitude for the decision to increase the budget, an issue over which the former residents have been struggling for a long time.
They added that similar compensation should be allocated to former owners of businesses and farmers.
The ministerial committee instructed a separate committee, headed by the director-general of the Prime Minister's Office, to draft a compensation plan for business owners and farmers by May 16.
Lior Kalfa, chairman of the Union of Gush Katif Residents, was pleased to hear that the additional funds had been approved, but also expressed his criticism.
"I find it hard to understand why it took the government a year and a half to give us what we deserve. We expect compensation for former business owners and farmers that is similar to what we received on personal and family levels," Kalfa said.
"I also hope the government will commit itself to a specific timetable regarding the establishment of permanent settlements," he added.