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Compensation to residents and businesses to be evacuated from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank will cost NIS 4.3 billion, as opposed to the government's original estimate of NIS 3 billion, according to articles of the evacuation compensation bill, to be voted on in its second and third readings in the Knesset plenary today.

Sources in the Knesset say they believe the law will pass by a majority of MKs from both the coalition and the opposition.

The Knesset Finance Committee last week voted to raise the amount of compensation to evacuees in the face of arguments that some parts of compensation were unrealistic, and in order to make the evacuation process pass more smoothly.

Compensation to be paid to settlers for their homes, personal compensation and grants to workers for loss of their workplace will be increased by NIS 800 million, to NIS 2.4 billion, instead of the original NIS 1.6 billion proposed by the government.

Compensation to businesses will be increased by NIS 400 million to a total of NIS 1.4 billion, while an additional NIS 100 million to NIS 200 million will be awarded to public institutions and associations to be evacuated from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank, for a total of between NIS 400 million and NIS 500 million.

The Finance Committee increased the allocation to the average Gaza Strip and northern West Bank family by 36 percent in compensation for loss of their home, workplace and in personal compensation.

The average evacuated family will therefore receive NIS 1.7 million instead of the NIS 1.25 million envisaged in the original bill proposed by the government.

This sum does not include compensation for businesses and greenhouses, which will be 40 percent more than originally planned.

The entire cost of disengagement from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank, including compensation to the approximately 7,500-8,000 residents, will reach NIS 7 billion.