Gov't Evicts Expelled Family

Disengagement Authority explains why it didn't let a family move into empty house - but the explanation flies in the face of facts on the ground.

Hillel Fendel,

Dozens of policemen with heavy equipment arrived Monday morning at the “caravilla” site in Nitzan, where hundreds of expelled Gush Katif residents live, to carry out yet another eviction/destruction.

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“Even in the original expulsion,” one embittered resident complained, “they didn’t bring as many security forces.”

Why were the buildings taken away?  The answers are varied – but the one offered by the government’s Sela Disengagement Administration is denied by all parties involved.

One of the neighbors, Eli B., told IsraelNationalNews the background from his standpoint: “There are two types of caravans [pre-fab houses designed to last for at most ten years, in which the expelled residents live] here: one is 90 meters square [900 square feet], and one is 60.  A family recently left one of the 90-meter caravillas, leaving it empty. A family that was expelled from one of the Shomron towns, Kadim or Ganim, and that was living in a smaller house moved in to the empty one.  But the Sela Disengagement Administration, for no reason other than badness, said no, and sent forces to evict them. There is no way to view it other than total evil.”

“The mother of the family turned on the gas in the home in an act of desperate protest, and in fact fainted. She was taken to the hospital, but was released a day later.  Now, these large forces have come to take the family out and to destroy or remove the house.”

“Sela has no use for this house; there is no reason for them to take it down. Why can’t they let the family move in? This is the evil and meanness that they have been showing us since the beginning.”

“And even according to their own rules, they shouldn’t be removing the house, because they are supposed to remove houses not one here and one there, which would leave our neighborhood looking like some kind of deteriorating slum, but only one bloc at a time.”

Sela's Explanation turned to the Sela Administration for its version of the events, and received this answer: “The Nitzan site is a temporary housing site for the expelled families on their way to a permanent housing solution. The two caravans that were taken away in Nitzan are to be used for two families from the former Gush Katif town of Kfar Darom. The families are now in the process of moving from Nitzan to Moshav Shokeda in the Negev, while they await the construction of their permanent house there.”

However, representatives of both Kfar Darom and Shokeda say that no such move has been finalized, and that in fact the chances of it happening in the future are slim.

Shokeda: No Caravans Here
Asked if any caravans had arrived in Shokeda today or are scheduled to arrive in the near future, David Azrad of Shokeda answered with an emphatic “no.”  Asked if he and his neighbors are in favor of having former Kfar Darom residents join them, he said, “There are those who support the idea and some who do not.”  Asked to explain the reasoning of the latter, he said simply, “Money.”  Azrad said that the government is simply not offering "a fair enough price" for the plots of land it wishes to give the former Gush Katif farmers.

Moshe Cohen of Kfar Darom confirmed that though talks have long been underway for 20 families to move to Shokeda, “nothing has been finalized, and it does not look like it will ever be finalized.  One of the main reasons is a man named Meir Yifrach, the Chairman of the Regional Council Sdot Negev, where Shokeda is located; he has made great efforts to get the people of Shokeda not to agree.”

Yifrach Refuses to Talk
Yifrach’s response was then sought.  Reaching him by phone in his office proved to be easy, but when he heard that the subject of the call was Kfar Darom, he said, “I don’t want to speak about that,” and the call was terminated.

Disengagement Suffering Continues
In sum: One family that wished to move to a larger permanent home has been turned down, with the mother recovering from gas poisoning, and 20 families from Kfar Darom that had their one-family houses snatched from them with government promises of ‘a solution for every resident’ but who have been living in an apartment building for three years with no solution in sight.