Sunday, April 29, 2007

Exculsive: New Aid Package Falls Far Short of Expectations

New Aid Package Falls Far Short of Expectations

By a former resident of Gush Katif

April 29, 2007

Recently it was reported that the Israeli govt. approved 500 million NIS additional compensation for Gush Katif expellees. There were several reports in the press detailing the distribution of monies to individual families, particularly Ynet , April 25, 2007 "Gush Katif evacuees to get new aid package" by Itamar Eichner. According to a recent pamphlet compiled by involved Knesset members, the amounts of money to be given to expelled families have been exaggerated in the press. For example: former residents of Gush Katif over 3 years of age will not receive any "vetek" money (based on years of residence). That is, family members will not receive the 7000 NIS as reported on Ynet. Children 3 years of age and under, who previously did not receive vetek compensation will now receive 1-3 years of vetek money for years lived in Gush Katif. Also the lump sum grant of 230,000 NIS as reported in Ynet was exaggerated. The grant varies from 125,000 to 185,000 NIS depending on the number of minor children and only applies to home owners. Further, this payment will be paid out over several installments over several years from now. Families that lived in public housing receive only 50% of this grant and families that rented private housing in Gush Katif do not receive this grant. Private renters, who in the original compensation law received no housing compensation will now receive a paltry 35,000 NIS per adult and 15,000 NIS - 20,000 NIS for each additional minor child up to 4 children only. Again this money is paid in installments over several years and ONLY paid if the family builds a home in a reestablished Gush Katif community.

The new allocation does allow families from "unrecognized" communities (eg. Tel Katifa, Shirat Hayam) to receive what their fellow residents received in "recognized" communities. Additionally, home owners who were paid the minimum ($ 750 per meter) housing compensation will be upgraded to $ 850 per meter – still far below the average building costs in Israel . Those reestablishing their businesses will receive 15% of the startup costs instead of the previous 10%. There will be a continuation of rent subsidies for those in temporary govt. "caravillas" provided they build new homes in reestablished Gush Katif communities.

As for unemployed residents, only those who are currently unemployed and previously qualified for unemployment payments (histaglut) will be able to receive an extension of this benefit.

Finally, no benefits will be given unless the residents sign a form that gives up their right to sue the govt. for any additional compensation.

For those who previously were unable to afford to buy a new home in their new location outside Gush Katif or the northern Shomron, they will still be unable to afford such a purchase. Bottom line, the government continues to deny the former residents of Gush Katif the financial means to recreate their previous housing and high levels of unemployment will continue to plague expellees.


Anonymous said...

This angers me. The maximum private renters can get is 140,000 NIS ($30,000.00) and payable only if they agree to build in a reestablished Gush Katif community??!! This sum doesn't even cover the cost of an empty lot!!Additionally, nobody gets the money upfront save for 10% if they sign away all claims against the gov't. And then the rest of it is given in installments over the years it takes to build - and they haven't even started infrastucture at most of the sites. We're talking 2010 for many people.

Anonymous said...

this is outrageous. after the govt stole the homes and employment of 8000 Jews; and then refused to give them sufficient compensation to obtain a replacement home - now publicizing this "news item" of "increased benefits" only makes the public mistakenly think that the "evacuees" are getting oodles of govt money, when they are not. it is simply outrageous!

in Pirkei Avot we learn to "say little and do much" - but the govt is doing exactly the opposite!

Batya said...

Thanks for the comments!

The government is out to make themselves look good, and it's our job to show the truth!

One way is to send this link around.

Shavua tov!

Anonymous said...

For those of you Hebrew fluent, the original report can be read on:

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Anonymous said...

Is this all that we deserve after devoting our lives for the land of Israel? This need for additional funds isn't about money. It's about giving people the means to rebuild their lives. The government razed Gush Katif to the ground and tried to scatter communities that wished to remain together. Now they're trying to deny us the compensation necessary to provide us with housing comparable to what we had, in some casing any housing at all.

Batya said...

Hadassa, thanks for adding your voice!
It's criminal what this Olmert, in the spirit of Sharon, Government has done and is doing.