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Israel sets up mobile homes for evacuees

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JERUSALEM, Jun 9, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Israeli Defense Ministry has set up the first batch of mobile homes for Gaza evacuees in the southern area of Nitzanim, the Ha'aretz daily reported Thursday.

Hundreds more are set to arrive in the area in coming weeks as a new neighborhood is under construction for settlers who will be evacuated en masse from the Gaza Strip under the disengagement plan due in mid-August.

The ministry has ordered 330 mobile homes known as "caravillas," which are wider than regular caravans. Infrastructure is being prepared for the establishment of more than 450 caravillas.

Israeli environmental groups criticized the establishment of the mobile homes, which they argued would jeopardize environment in the area.

One of the groups, Green Course, said over the next few days it would organize demonstrations to protest the move.

"The Israeli government established a new permanent community, not out of concern for the evacuees, but out of deep concern for the pockets of contractors and businessmen," said Green Course.

Israel will pull out settlers from all 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip and four out of 120 in northern West Bank as of mid- August.