Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed on Tuesday on details of a plan to destroy the homes in Gaza Strip settlements slated for evacuation under the Israeli pullout plan.
Under the plan, which must still receive a final approval, an international organization, most likely the World Bank, will monitor the demolition of the homes.
The agreement was reached during a meeting at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem between Israeli Defense Ministe Shaul Mofaz, Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Mohammad Dahlan, and James Wolfensohn, the QuartetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Middle East envoy.
Dahlan will present details plan to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas; Israel expects the P.A. to give a positive response on the agreement on Wednesday.
Wolfensohn, meanwhile,Ã‚Â will leave for the United States to present the plan to the US government.
The two sides agreed that Israeli army bulldozers will demolish the walls of the homes, in what was described as Ã¢â‚¬Å“initial demolition.Ã¢â‚¬Â Palestinian and Egyptian companies hired by the World Bank will then complete the demolition after the Israeli pullout.
General Amos Yaron, Israeli Defense Ministry Director, said the cost of demolishing the homes in Gush Katif will be between $25 million and $30 million. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Israel will pay the costs and transfer the sum to the World Bank bodies,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
The rubble of the settlements will be buried in Sinai or within Gaza, while some of the materials of the demolished homes will be recycled for Palestinian construction in the Gaza strip.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Environment Ministry will take care of the burial of hazardous materials, such as asbestos, in special locations within Israeli territory.
The demolition process is expected to last between one-and-a-half and two months.Ã‚Â
According to Israeli sources, the Israeli army will demolish some 2800 buildings, including 40 in northern West Bank settlements. The army will also level 26 synagogues after removing their religious items, while other public buildings will be handed over to the Palestinian Authority.Ã‚Â
Israeli memorial sites will be removed later on; Israel erected a central memorial in Nitzan to the Israeli soldiers and settlers killed in Gaza.
The two sides also decided to improve the Erez and Karni crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel and two checkpoints near Tulkarem and Hebron.Ã‚Â The United States will provideÃ‚Â $50 million for the upgrades.