Yonatan Bassi, Disengagement Department head proposed to temporarily allocate the evacuated settlers in Ashkelon until the construction of their permanent residencies is finalized.

Bassi met on Tuesday with a number of contractors to find solutions for residencies of the evacuated settlers in the frame of Gaza withdrawal, an Israeli source reported.

Two months ago, Bassi met for the first time with contractors and presented his plan to house the settlers in Ashkelon for a maximum period of two years after a meeting he held with settlers’ leaders; the contractors told him that his proposal in not financially profitable.

The contractors argued that the moment the apartment is rented out it becomes a second-hand apartment and immediately devalues.

Meanwhile, Gaza settlers leaders proposed to voluntarily evacuate their homes if Israel agrees to relocate them in the southern Gaza Strip settlement of Netzarim; the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and settlers leaders are to discuss this suggestion Tuesday.

One again, Bassi met with some contractors on Tuesday, but with a smaller group than the first meeting, and informed them that Israel is willing to compensate them for any losses due to apartments’ devaluation. 

The contractors said that this offer is better than the first, but still not financially valuable, and asked for more time to study it.

The Israeli Ynet news website reported that one contractor agreed to sign a “rough draft” agreement.

Also, the disengagement office turned to Israeli hotel to solve the housing problem, some hoteliers agreed if the office guarantees their payments while others refused and said that “their hotels are already reserved for large functions in certain weeks this summer”.

The office also examined the possibility of placing caravans in Ashkelon area but the Ashkelon municipality rejected the idea saying that “it does not want a transit of caravans in the city”.


Roni Mahatzri, Ashkelon Mayor, said that he met with settlers and proposed that his municipality builds two neighborhoods for them which are similar to their settlements.