Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni’s bureau issued Saturday a statement explaining that the minister’s press conference of last week was misunderstood as an ultimatum.

"The week-long period given the settlers to sign up for the plan to settle them in Nitzanim after evacuation is not an ultimatum," the statement said.

Settlers have petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice demanding a court injunction against the "seeming ultimatum" until a ruling is made on the Evacuation Compensation Law.

The statement also explained that Livni only wanted to tell the settlers that their answer must be received quickly so the government can prepare infrastructure and temporary housing for them.

Government officials promoting the Nitzanim plan said talks with settlers and work on the project are proceeding out of the media spotlight.

Gaza settlers given a week to sign up for Nitzanim plan

The Israeli government gave Wednesday Gaza Strip settlers a seven days ultimatum to sign up for a plan to relocate to the Nitzanim area after they are evacuated from the Palestinian Strip in accordance with the disengagement plan.

The announcement was made after a meeting of the ministerial committee for disengagement, headed by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Following the committee meeting, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Speaking at a press conference, warned that those who do not sign up within a week will not be part of the communal evacuation.
Livni said that 426 settler families have signed up for the plan so far.

Livni also said that the government wanted to ensure that every settler family receives the government message directly, not through mediators.
The ministerial committee on disengagement also approved the order of 320 caravans to temporarily house evacuated settlers, in addition to the 300 caravans that had already been ordered.

Education Minister Limor Livnat told the committee that educational frameworks have already been established for the evacuated children, and new jobs have been found for the roughly 400 teachers who work in Gush Katif settlement.