Total disengagement cost - NIS 8-8.5b

The government will spend NIS 2.2 billion on disengagement in 2006 and NIS 3.1-3.6 billion in 2007, and has asked for $2.1 billion in special US aid.

The government is expected to spend NIS 2.2 billion on disengagement in 2006. Most of this spending is compensation for evacuees from Gush Katif and northern Samaria, and for protecting Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.

The government spent an estimated NIS 2.7 billion on disengagement in 2005, NIS 500 million more than originally planned. Total spending on disengagement in 2005-06 will therefore total NIS 4.9 billion.

The total cost for all disengagement items is estimated at NIS 8-8.5 billion. NIS 3.1-3.6 billion will be spent during 2007, mostly for upgrading the security fence and completing protective measures for Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.

The government still hopes that the US will help finance disengagement, especially military items. Israel has asked for $2.1 billion in special aid for financing disengagement. It cannot be ruled out that the subject will come up in talks between Minister of Foreign Affairs and Justice Tzippi Livni and US officials during her upcoming visit to the US next week.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on February 6, 2006

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