Israel says Gaza evacuees being resettled

Most Israelis evacuated from Gaza in 2005 were resettled in communities of their choice, Israel’s government said.

But a survey commissioned by a lobby representing the evacuees had very different data.

Marking the third anniversary of the “Disengagement Plan,” the Prime Minister’s Office released data Tuesday showing that 72 percent of the 8,500 evacuated settlers have availed themselves of state help in establishing new communities in Israeli areas within the Green Line.

Eighty percent of the evacuees have relocated to southern Israel, with the rest moving to various other areas, including as far away as the Golan Heights. Half of Gaza’s former Israeli farmers have used their government payouts to establish new agricultural holdings.

“After three years of intensive effort,” Prime Minister’s Office director-general Raanan Dinur said in a statement, “the evacuees have received most of the compensation due to them, as well as the tools and infrastructure to build their homes anew.”

But he said that “a small group of a few dozen families” have been blocking their relocation “for reasons that are not known to us.”

Most of those evacuated in 2005 opposed the withdrawals, seeing them as a prize for Palestinian terrorism and a betrayal of Jewish birthright to biblical land. State relocation efforts have been hampered by recrimination, with many ex-settlers saying their compensation money has been slow in coming.

A survey commissioned by a lobby representing the evacuees found that 70 percent of them say they are worse off financially than they were five years ago and 81 percent said they are still living in temporary housing.

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