Israeli Interior Minister Ophir Pines on Friday visited the coastal town of Nitzanim to check on preparations for absorbing hundreds of Gush Katif settlers, who will be evacuated from the Gaza Strip starting Sunday.

“The construction speed is faster than anything in the history of Israel,” Pines said. “A bank, clinic, three kindergartens and a market are being constructed.”

Some 320 temporary apartments have been erected so far; 30 additional apartments will be built in the coming two weeks.

The Disengagement Authority official responsible for the site said that 130 settler families are expected there on Sunday; another 20 to 30 families are expected there later on.

The location will also include two synagogues for 260 settlers, three kindergartens, one clinic, a market, food stores and offices.

Also, the Disengagement Authority said that of the 320 “luxury” mobile homes, or “car-villas,” 220 are apartments with four rooms each, located on 90 square meters of land.

The construction at the Nitzanim area started on April 20, 2005, when the area was deserted. A road was also paved leading to another site that will be used for permanent houses, which are expected to be ready in two years.

Disengagement Authority officials said that last week 588 settler families from the Gaza Strip and 168 from the northern West Bank have applied for evacuation compensation.

This number is out of a total of 1700 settler families.

The authority said that new compensation requests are being filed on daily basis, and that 42 settler families in the northern west Bank, have left voluntarily.

More “cara-villas” are being constructed in Mavki’im area, south of Ashkelon;. They will be used by settlers evacuated from the Gaza settlement of Pe’at Sadeh

Eight additional cara-villas are expected to arrive Sunday, and another five will arrive by the end of next week.

Recently an agreement was signed with a company in order to set up the water and sewerage infrastructure in the area. So far there are no access roads leading to the area and no street lights.

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