Friday, July 20, 2007

Expellees Receive Power-Struggle Eviction Notices

by Hillel Fendel

( Once again, Gush Katif expellee families find themselves shifted about in power struggles between the powers-that-be.

Some 50 families thrown out of northern Gush Katif two years ago still have no permanent solution on the horizon - and now they are being told they must leave their temporary homes as well.

Nearly 30 families from Elei Sinai, another 20 from Nisanit, and one from Netzer Hazani - former communities of northern Gush Katif that were evacuated and razed in the Disengagement/expulsion plan of 2005 - are living in Kibbutz Carmiya, just north of Gaza and west of Yad Mordechai. They arrived there over a year and a half ago, after several months of living in even more temporary locations. Many of them lived in a tent city for over two months.

The State signed a contract with Kibbutz Carmiya according to which the State pays $450 each month per family, and the kibbutz provides land for upgraded temporary pre-fab homes, dubbed caravillas. The kibbutz now says that the residents must leave within a month if the State does not agree to renew the contract - at $600 per month/family.

One resident told Arutz-7 that she is aware that she and her neighbors are being used as pawns in a struggle between the kibbutz and the Disengagement Authority. "I can tell you," she said, "that a year ago, an Elei Sinai family that was not eligible for long-term government compensation - because they had lived in Elei Sinai for only a year or so - rented a caravilla on its own here, because they wanted to be together with the Elei Sinai people - and they're paying $550."

She noted that the caravilla of one family had burnt down several months ago, and the family was forced to move north of Ashkelon to Nitzan, the largest concentration of former Gush Katif families.

No Housing Solution in Sight
Most significantly, not one of the families has a permanent housing solution on the horizon. "A large group signed on for a project in Talmei Yaffe [just southeast of Ashkelon]," the woman told Arutz-7, "but as far as I know, not a single tractor has begun work, and nothing has progressed. Another group is hoping for a project in Givat Olga, near Hadera, but there too, nothing has moved forward."

The lone family from Netzer Hazani was intending to rejoin a large bloc of its former neighbors in a new neighborhood outside the hareidi-religious moshav Yesodot, near Yad Binyamin. However, the family has since decided to take off on its own, and hopes to soon leave Carmiyah.

Disengagement Authority head Tzviya Shimon has called upon Kibbutz Carmiyah to continue negotiations regarding the future of the families.

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