Haaretz: Evacuated Settlers\' Homes to be Sold to Palestinian Citizens
Israel has agreed to transfer to the Palestinians all the evacuated Jewish settlements in their entirety, in the framework of the suggested permanent agreement, reported Haaretz newspaper, quoting Israeli Political sources as saying Monday.
The sources said that according to a plan drafted by the World Bank, "the settlers' homes, fields and public buildings will be sold to Palestinian Authority residents."
"The houses of the Palestinian citizens who will move to the settlements will be given to refugees, mainly to refugees coming from Lebanon," they told the daily.
It is estimated that the annexation of 5 percent of the West Bank would force Israel to evacuate 25 percent of the settlers from their homes, according to Haaretz.
More than 50,000 Jewish settlers, living in 9,000 housing units, are to be evicted from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The money Israel would be credited with, in return for the property that is to remain on the land (including roads and infrastructure), would be considered in part as Israel's contribution to the International Committee for rehabilitating refugees, headed by Sweden's Prime Minister, a source told the daily.
The rest of the money would be used to compensate the evacuated settler, but only those who have left their homes intact.
According to the refugee rehabilitation plans, the refugees would not be placed in the evacuated settlements, in order to prevent the establishment of refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip where there are no places of employment available, said the paper.
The World Bank wants to avoid creating a significant difference between living conditions of refugees in the Palestinian state and conditions for refugees absorbed in Jordan and Syria, according to Haaretz.
Therefore, the Palestinian National Authority would sell the evacuated houses to Palestinian residents who live next to the Jewish settlements, one source added.
The future proprietors will probably be middle class Palestinians who want to improve their housing conditions, said the paper -- Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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