Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that the Israeli government's
Disengagement Administration (Sela) has paid millions of shekels in
compensation to dozens of settlers families who were evacuated from
illegal settlement outposts in the Gaza Strip during the August 2005
Disengagement Plan.

The Israeli law only entitles settlers of “legal settlements” to receive compensation for their evacuation. But Sela compensated settlers who were living in five illegal settlement outposts in the Gaza Strip. The outposts are Tel Katifa, Shalev, Kfar Yam, Shirat Hayam and Kerem Atzmona, Haaretz added.

Each family received an amount of NIS 600.000 in order to evacuate from the illegal outposts.

Some Sela officials are concerned that these payments could be set as precedents that would oblige Israel to pay the same amounts when evacuating illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank, especially since settlers have already began asking for those amounts in order to evacuate.

But the officials also argued that there is a difference between settlers who were evacuated under an official government plan, and those who will be evacuated because there are living in illegal outposts.

The officials added that the payments are “beyond the letter of the law”, therefore they do not constitute a precedent.

Another issue Sela did not follow was that it did not keep track of where the Gaza settlers were evacuated to, therefore, some of them have moved to illegal settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank.

Also, Sela does not have a clear record on the number of families who lived in these outposts, but so far 64 settler families have filed for compensation.

41 of the 64 settler families received advances that totals to thousands of shekels for each family, and 23 did not receive any compensation yet.

Moreover, all settlers of illegal outposts will receive lower compensation that settlers living in “legal settlements”, but the degree of the reduction will depend on how many of Sela's four criteria for legal settlements the outposts met, Haaretz added.

These criteria, as published by Haaretz, are as follows; the government decided to establish it; its municipal borders were defined; it had an approved master plan under which construction permits were issued; and residents had property rights in their dwellings.

Two weeks from now, the special compensation committee will publish a decision in principle of the compensation amount each of the five illegal outposts will receive.

After the level of compensation is set, the committee will start deliberation on how much each family will receive based on the number of family members and length of time they lived in the illegal outposts.
Yet, the Israeli law does not entitle the residents of illegal settlement outposts to receive any compensation, but Sela officials said that “the justification for compensating residents of the unrecognized settlements lies in the special circumstances of the evacuation of the Gaza Strip and the desire to enable these residents to rehabilitate their lives following the evacuation”, Haaretz reported.