Report: Israel failed Gaza settlement evacuees

By James Lewis, June 16, 2010
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The report blamed former Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon

The report blamed former Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon

A new report into the fate of the settlers evacuated from Gaza has accused successive Israeli governments of “absolute and complete failure” in dealing with them.

The state commission inquiry showed that 70 per cent of the settlers, who were forced to leave their Gush Katif homes during the Gaza withdrawal in 2005, have still not been found permanent homes. A large majority of those 9,000 who were removed from Gaza have still not been properly compensated and are currently living in temporary dwellings.

The Chairman of the Inquiry into the Handling by the Authorised Authorities of the Evacuees from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria, Eliyahu Mazza, said that it was “an absolute and complete failure” of the settlers.

Hagit Yaron, a former Gush Katif community organiser, said: “I feel worn-out from saying ‘we told you so’, which is what we’ve been saying for five years.”

According to the report, “Most of the evacuees are still living in temporary caravan sites and the construction of most of the permanent housing has not yet commenced.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was presented with the 488-page document by Mr Mazza who is a former deputy president of The Supreme Court.

The Prime Minister said that it was “our obligation as a government” to bring the settlers into permanent homes, and that he would not “tolerate foot-dragging”.

The report put the blame for the failure largely on former Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon, but added that Mr Netanyahu risked becoming part of the problem if he did not find a quick solution.

Last updated: 2:58pm, October 19 2010