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Meretz parliamentarian pushes bill to compensate Israeli settlers

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Knesset member Ilan Gilon says that most of the settlers were motivated by affordable housing, not ideology, and will agree to return to Israel if offered compensation.
Men work on the roof of a house under construction in the unauthorised Jewish settler outpost of Havat Gilad, south of the West Bank city of Nablus November 5, 2013. Israeli and Palestinian officials said on Tuesday the three-month-old peace talks pressed on them by Washington are going nowhere, painting a grim picture for a visit this week by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Both sides have been airing their frustration over a lack of progress in the U.S.-brokered talks aimed at resolving core issues su

The Meretz faction chairman, Knesset member Ilan Gilon, advanced a bill for compensating settlers who would voluntarily leave their homes in the West Bank, even though he knew in advance that the bill would fall in the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. The bill was voted on this Sunday, Feb. 23, and faced opposition on the part of most government ministers, including Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of Yesh Atid. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni abstained.

Gilon had anticipated exactly this scenario. A short time after the vote was taken, he hurried to argue that even those ministers ostensibly in favor of the two-state solution in fact voted for the continuation of construction in the settlements.

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