20 Months Without a Home: Gush Katif Report, by Hillel Fendel (Israel National News)
Out of 1,667 families expelled from Gush Katif in August 2005 by the Ariel Sharon government, 1,405 are living together in 26 temporary sites. Not one permanent home has begun to be built.
In order to turn a temporary site into a permanent one, a contract must be signed between the government, the residents, and the permanent community already there or the owners.
The reasons for the lack of a contract,” the report explains, “differ from place to place – but the bottom-line fact that the State is not finding solutions causes great difficulties, and leads to a great lack of confidence, directly influencing other areas of life.”
“It is now clear that the caravan sites will be home for the uprooted residents for at least five years.”
“The situation is wretched, and the State has failed tremendously. Despite this, the communities of Gush Katif continue to work and accomplish, and it is clear that once they receive the necessary tools once again – progress on their permanent communities and improvements in the Evacuation/Compensation Law – they will once again be an asset to Israel – active, productive and giving.
“The communities of Gush Katif are a paradigm of mutual responsibility and concern for the collective. Most of the expellees have remained in the communal framework, hoping to perpetuate their values, ideals and vision that existed in Gush Katif. Their support for each other is something to be admired. With the understanding that the community is made up of its members, they are not willing to give up on any one of their members who are considered “ineligible” for whatever reason by the government. They also are concerned for their “next generation,” make sure to maintain rich communal life in their temporary sites, and work to ensure the existence of public buildings in their new communities.
“The communal strength has greatly enabled them to struggle with the various difficulties – but there are no guarantees. The continuing uncertainty seeps through, and makes every aspect of life more difficult.
“The Gush Katif Residents Committee posits that the rehabilitation of the expellees is largely dependent on the granting of national -priority status to the treatment of the expellees, including detouring the various bureaucratic wrangles that are involved. The government must make a comprehensive change in its approach to these problems in order to bring an end to this sad chapter as quickly as possible and ease the difficulties of this sector that has suffered greatly.”
To read the full report as posted on Israel National News, click here.