"An urgent national mission"

C'tee orders gov't offices to build Gush Katif evacuees homes by 2011.

abandoned settlement 311 (photo credit: Gaston Zvi Ickowicz)
abandoned settlement 311
(photo credit: Gaston Zvi Ickowicz)
The government has declared rehabilitation of evacuees from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria an "urgent national mission," Army Radio reported on Tuesday.
All government offices have been ordered to complete their tasks in connection to the evacuees as soon as possible, including moving them to permanent housing and paying reparations by the end of 2011.
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The new policy comes from a report by the State Commission of Inquiry into the Handling of the Evacuees from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria by the Authorized Authorities. The head of the committee, Minister of Science Daniel Herschkowitz, said "the state can not continue to carry on this shameful way, and adopting the report is a critical decision in the rehabilitation process," Army Radio reported.
The report said the state failed to take care of the evacuees, and it must complete constructing 1,500 permanent homes for them. The commission added that if the agreement to "copy" four Gush Katif towns is not fulfilled within two months, it should be canceled, and the evacuees should be spread out in different towns.
"Most of the permanent residences still have not been built," said former judge Eliahu Matza, the commission's director, adding that the unemployment rate amongst evacuees is "very difficult" - double the percentage in the rest of Israel's population.
The commission's report also discussed the possibility of more towns being evacuated in the future, due to a diplomatic process, terrorism, or a natural disaster, and called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to prepare a contingency plan as soon as possible.