Yamit Residents Stage Protest
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Yamit Residents Stage Protest

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Housing Minister David Levy gave a tongue-lashing today to angry residents of the seaside town of Yamit in northern Sinai who blocked roads, set fire to fires and burned a kiosk in protest against what they consider inadequate compensation for evacuating the town about 18 months from now. “Violence will not produce more money,” Levy declared. Yamit is one of the Jewish settlements in Sinai that must be abandoned in 1982 under terms of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty that calls for the total withdrawal of Israeli civilians and military personnel from the peninsula.

The Yamit residents have been complaining for some time that government red tape has prevented an agreement on the amount of compensation and relocation problems. The government wants the settlers in Sinai to remain there until the final deadline and has offered to pay more in compensation to those who stick it out. The residents say the amounts offered are not enough.

They insisted that Acting Premier Yigael Yadin come to Yamit to discuss their demands. Yadin, who is substituting for ailing Premier Menachem Begin, failed to appear. The Yamit residents responded today by blocking a main road junction with various vehicles and agricultural equipment. Traffic was backed up for miles, including a convoy of army tank carriers. Levy, who had offered to go to Yamit in place of Yadin, cancelled his trip when he learned of the disorders.

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