Bill: Build new homes before razing outposts

Exclusive: MK Katz calls for PM to "repent," proposes legislation to "protect basic human rights" of settlers.

Crane removes belongings from Ulpana outpost 370 (photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
Crane removes belongings from Ulpana outpost 370
(photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
A bill proposed by National Union leader Ya’acov Katz would require the government to build new homes and infrastructure for residents of outposts and settlements before they are demolished.
“I hope we just build and not uproot Jews from their homes. Maybe [Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu] will repent,” Katz told The Jerusalem Post.
The National Union leader added: “Hopefully we won’t need this law following [former] justice Edmond Levy’s report [on settlements], but in a situation where the media and the courts are hostile, we need to make sure to minimize damages.”
“The Bill to Protect Human Rights of Evacuees” seeks to make the government responsible for ensuring the preservation of settlers’ “basic human rights and the fabric of their lives.”
If peace talks or other arrangements require that outposts, neighborhoods or whole settlements be demolished, the government would have to provide equivalent homes and neighborhoods.
Among the government’s responsibilities would be building schools, religious services and infrastructure, including electricity, phone lines, water, sewage and roads.
Anyone whose home was demolished must be given employment opportunities with a salary similar to what he or she earned previously.
Should the bill pass, evacuees who do not find work can collect unemployment payments for up to 24 months.
In addition, the Finance Ministry would be required to increase the Welfare and Social Services Ministry’s budget to fund care for the evacuees.
The bill only applies to structures that were built with approval from government ministries.
Katz plans to submit the bill this week, in the hope that it will be brought to a preliminary vote before the Knesset summer session ends on July 31. Lawmakers from Shas and United Torah Judaism have co-signed the legislation, and Katz is working to garner support from Likud, Kadima and Habayit Hayehudi MKs that previously backed his outpost legislation.
Though the bill is not expected to pass, sources in National Union said they plan to launch a public battle over it similar to the lead-up to Katz’s failed Outpost Bill last month, calling out right-wing MKs who do not promise their support.
“A residence is not just the physical place in which a person lives, but the basis for his life, around which his social life, employment and education is built,” the bill’s explanatory portion states. “Though sometimes people must be removed from their homes, it must be done in a way that ensures their basic dignity.”
The legislation does not apply to someone who has committed a crime, but the explanatory portion states that anyone who is evacuated because of an agreement made by the government – “without referring to the validity of such an agreement” – deserves expanded rights.

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