ami ayalon 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Former minister-without-portfolio Ami Ayalon called for a renewed push on on
Tuesday for a bill to reimburse settlers for leaving their homes.
bill advocated by Ayalon is not new – it was quashed repeatedly under the Kadima
government – but he said that the time was now right to start a public campaign
to rally support for his plan.
Ayalon told The Jerusalem Post
he had already met with a number of people about the bill, which was initially
sponsored by then-MKs Colette Avital (Labor) and Avshalom Vilan (Meretz), he was
first hoping to push his plan with the public.
Ayalon said that he had
yet to count yeas and nays in the Knesset, and that he would first try to
convince the Israeli people that now was the right time to rethink a “voluntary
return to the borders of Israel.”
The former Labor minister, who
currently is active with a public group called Blue White Future, said such a
program would be a necessary recourse for Israel after “the inevitable failure
to accomplish anything through direct talks with the Palestinians.”
the American mid-term elections in November, he added, the political climate
would be ripe for such an Israeli initiative.
The idea was last touted by
then-vice prime minister Haim Ramon, who in September 2008 proposed a voluntary
evacuation bill that would compensate Jewish property owners who lived outside
the West Bank security barrier, an average $300,000, or NIS 1.1 million, for
At the time he calculated that 72 settlements, out of the
total of 121, were located beyond the barrier’s proposed route.
further estimated that there were 61,808 settlers living in those 72
communities, out of whom 11,000, or 18 percent, would make use of the
As of September 2009, according to the Central Bureau of
Statistics, there were 301,200 Jews living in the West Bank, the bulk of
live in 51 settlements located within the boundaries of the security
Most of the settlement growth at present occurs in those