2. Debt Forgiveness in Settlements Surrounding Gaza
a) The Government of Israel passed a resolution regarding the implementation of the disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip (hereinafter – the “Strip”) in the framework of which the Israeli citizens who lived in the Strip are to be evacuated from it.
b) This disengagement will result in the creation of a confrontation line along 54km line of the Strip border (hereinafter – “the confrontation line”).
c) Five thinly populated Kibbutzim (Or Haner, Kissufim, Nir Oz, Sufa and Kerem Shalom) are situated on the eastern side of the confrontation line (hereinafter the “settlements”), which were established with the assistance of the Jewish Agency for Israel ("JAFI").
d) These settlements owe monies to JAFI.
e) The close proximity to the confrontation line exposes the settlements to the dangers of hostile activities, acts of terrorism, financial difficulties and demographic threats, over and above the difficulties in which these settlements already find themselves.
f) The Government is acting to strengthen the settlements by the confrontation line, is launching an aid plan and has approached JAFI with a request that JAFI join the activity supporting the settlements by forgiving debts, in a similar manner to the debt forgiven by JAFI in the northern confrontation line area subsequent to the IDF withdrawal from Southern Lebanon.
g) JAFI considers it to be a national imperative to assist these settlements and is interested in strengthening and
firmly establishing them.
h) It is proposed to apply, with required changes, the policy adopted by JAFI concerning the settlements in the Northern confrontation line (Board of Governors resolution dated June 2000) also to the said settlements, by implementing debt forgiveness to repayable, as opposed to standing loans for infrastructure, for means of production and for construction, all of which were awarded within the context of the Settlement Agreement. The proposal therefore pertains
to approximately $3.4 million, the collection of which was spread over the coming years.
i) It is necessary to ensure that the beneficiaries of any debt forgiveness shall be the settlements and the individual settlers themselves, and no other creditor, and that JAFI accordingly considers the case and the cause of these settlements surrounding Gaza as unique.
Now therefore be it resolved as follows:
1. No debt is considered to be waived or forgiven by mere virtue of the adoption of this resolution.
2. This resolution is an enabling resolution permitting JAFI to act in order to obtain the purposes as set out in the preamble to this resolution.
3. No waiver or forgiveness of any debt will be considered valid under the terms of this resolution unless approved and signed by two authorized signatories of JAFI.
4. The Finance Department of JAFI is authorized to forgive the debts of the settlements as defined herein-above and of their individual settlers, according to the principles set-out in this resolution. For that purpose, the Finance Department of JAFI is authorized to conduct negotiations, enter into agreements and sign documents which implement this resolution.
5. Any debt forgiveness will only relate to the repayable debt of the settlement and settlers. The 75% standing loan will remain as such, in order to ensure that the settlement is so maintained and is not converted into a commercial or industrial concern in which the settlement element is abandoned, and all the rights of JAFI in connection with the standing loan, as well as its other rights according to the Settlement Agreement and the tri-partite contract are hereby preserved.
6. Any debt will be forgiven only in a way which will directly benefit the respective settlements and settlers and which will not directly benefit any of their creditors. For the said purpose, the Finance Department will conduct negotiations, enter into agreements and prepare the documentation necessary to implement this resolution with respect to the settlements and the individual settlers.
The debt forgiveness arrangements which will be implemented in accordance with this resolution may include arrangements by which, after the completion of the debts settlement, JAFI will contribute to the settlements or the individual settlers the sums collected by JAFI in the debt settlement, after the date of this resolution.
7. In the event of rezoning of the settlement, other than housing expansion within the settlement, which has been exempted from payment to JAFI according to the resolution of the Board of Governors of JAFI, JAFI will retain its right for compensation for its rights and investments in the settlement.
8. This resolution will only apply to the settlements listed in the above preamble and their settlers and will not be considered as a precedent for any other area in Israel. It is made without any legal obligation whatsoever, and does not detract from any of JAFI's outstanding contentions.