Gov't Stonewalls Expelled Gush Katif Farmers
(IsraelNN.com) The government authority SELA, which was formed to assist Gush Katif expellees, has ruled that former farmers will have to fend for themselves in lawsuits filed by former Arab workers for reparations. SELA explained that government compensation does not cover damages claimed by Arab workers although SELA still has not provided many of the farmers with permanent housing or work.
Investigative journalist David Bedein explained the situation to Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Bedein asked the Prime Minister to intervene after SELA said it would not help the expelled farmers. Regev turned the matter over to government spokesman David Baker, who insisted, "I am sure SELA will be of assistance to you, as always."
Bedein tried once more and wrote, "The question remains: Since the ministerial responsibility over SELA lies with the Prime Minister of Israel, will the Prime Minister overrule this decision of SELA to assist the farmers who by no fault of their own fired their Arab workers? And if not, why not?"
Baker replied, "Thank you for utilizing the services of SELA."