State to Pay Settlers Millions Over West Bank Building Freeze

Israelis who purchased West Bank homes but were unable to move in due to the freeze will be eligible for compensation.

The government will be paying NIS 100 million to NIS 150 million in compensation to settlers hurt by the freeze in construction in the West Bank settlements, under an agreement MK Danny Danon (Likud) reached with the Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office over the weekend.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation is expected to hear a bill Danon drafted on the matter on Sunday.

Under the agreement, people who purchased homes in the West Bank but were unable to move in as schedule due to the freeze will be eligible for compensation in accordance with the rent they paid on their current residence in the interim. The government is supposed to pay compensation within 30 days after the approval of the request.

Compensation will be based on the size of the new home and is not to exceed 150% of the rental costs incurred during the interim period.

In addition, builders will receive compensation equal to the difference between their expenses and their revenues, plus interest, for projects subject to the freeze.

Danon is also demanding that the state compensate local authorities for lost property taxes (arnona) as a result of the freeze, which he says amounts to tens of millions of shekels.

He also proposes setting up a claims committee that would process compensation requests and issue payments.