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Freeze Leaves Katif People in the Cold

The gov't construction freeze has halted construction of permanent homes for 30 families thrown out of Netzarim and other Gush Katif towns in 2005.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/6/2009, 6:05 PM / Last Update: 12/6/2009, 6:13 PM

The government’s construction freeze has frozen the construction of permanent homes for some 30 families thrown out of Netzarim and other Gush Katif towns in 2005. The families have written a plea to Prime Minister Netanyahu, asking him to allow them to complete the long and difficult process of rehabilitation that they have undergone in the last 4.5 years.

Arik Yefet, chairman of the group, wrote, “I turn to you in the name of some 30 families that were uprooted from Netzarim and other Gush Katif towns in the Disengagement. We have been living in the temporary site in the [Samaria] city of Ariel, in old caravans [mobile homes without wheels] and large containers.

“We were astonished to hear of the diplomatic-security mini-Cabinet’s decision” – an allusion to the fact that the decision was never ratified by the full Cabinet – “to decree a blanket and immediate construction freeze on the entire settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria. This decision has immediate ramifications on all of Judea and Samaria, and particularly on those who were thrown out of Gaza. We have invested our money – close to 20 million shekels in total – on various aspects of the project, including buying the plots, architectural and engineering planning, fees and levies, a project manager, and more.”

After noting that the freeze will cost them money, both directly and indirectly, Yefet added, “This decision is a freeze not only of construction, but also of our lives. It means we must remain yet another year in this temporary housing, in addition to the two years it will take to actually build, and in addition to the four and a half years since we were thrown out of our homes.

“We request from your honor that we be allowed to continue to build, and that the government help us in subsidizing the development as has always been the case in Ariel and in the other sites of the evicted Gush Katif families.”