Terrorism-Stricken Gush Katif Family Denied Compensation, by Hillel Fendel (Israel National News)
MK Yitzchak Levy has written to the Prime Minister, asking for his personal intervention on behalf of a Gush Katif icon family being denied State compensation for having been expelled from its home.
Eliezer and Chana Bart lived in the Gush Katif community of Kfar Darom for over 18 years until they and their eight children were thrown out in accordance with Prime Minister Sharon’s disengagement/expulsion plan. They have now been informed that as far as the government is concerned, they are not eligible for compensation.
Chana was paralyzed in the lower half of her body in a terrorist shooting attack in 2002, and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since. Two years later – a day after Sharon’s bombshell announcement of his plan to throw the 8,000 Jews of Gaza out of their homes – Chana and Eliezer celebrated the brit [ritual circumcision] of their week-old son. They named him Amichai [My Nation Lives] Yisrael.
The scene of Chana carrying her baby to the brit in a wheelchair marked a poignant moment in Gush Kaif history, and was immortalized in films prior to the expulsion.
“The government is relating to us as if we were not expelled from Gush Katif,” Eliezer told Arutz-7’s Amatzia HaEitan. “This means that we’re not receiving compensation for our house, or for the years we lived there, or rent money for the two years following the expulsion, moving expenses, etc.”
On what basis has the Disengagement Authority made this determination? Bart explained: “In Nov. 2003, just after the major bomb attack on the bus in which Miri Amitai and Gabi Biton were killed [and the three Cohen children lost limbs – ed.], we and some other families moved into new houses, adding some security to Kfar Darom by pushing the fence back a little to the south. The government claims that our house was not on recognized land – and therefore it’s as if we didn’t live there.
“However, the fact is that when we moved in, we had talks with the Arab neighbors in order to buy the land – I was one of those who had the merit of dealing with it – and in the end, we bought the land legally and received title to the land, as well as all the necessary permits and authorizations to build there. We gave all the papers to the Disengagement Authority – but the problem is that their approach is negative, always looking how not to pay and how to find clauses by which not to pay us. They never explained why the papers we gave them are not relevant, but it doesn’t matter; we lived in Kfar Darom over 18 years, our 8 children were born there, and we were thrown out…
“The house at issue was planned according to the exact specifications of my wife Chana’s needs, with wide doors for the wheelchair and the counters at the right height, etc.”
MK Rabbi Yitzchak Levy (National Union) wrote a personal letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, strongly asking that he intervene personally in the Bart case. “The abuse of the Bart family must be stopped immediately,” Levy wrote, “as well as of the other families. I ask you to correct this injustice immediately.”
The Disengagement Authority can be faxed at 02 (or +972 from abroad) 652-9217. For those who cannot fax, email is second- best: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eliezer said that the houses that were built across from him do not face the same problem, “as they were built on state-owned lands known as the King’s Way, on which the Tel Aviv-Cairo train tracks were once located.”
Eliezer repeated the charge heard by others who were thrown out of Gush Katif: “It’s a terrible feeling to see respected and well-educated people sitting on the Disengaement Authority committee, yet they have no heart. They simply treat us coldly and with great hostility… On a personal level, we invested all the money that we had – the money we received for the injuries caused to Chana, and many loans, in order to help our family live.”