31 Gush Katif Families to Build New Homes
Final approval has been received, five years after the Disengagement, for the relocation of 31 Gush Katif families to a seaside kibbutz south of Haifa.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave his approval for the plan, which applies to the families from the three northern Gaza communities of Dugit, Nisanit, and – mostly – Elei Sinai. They are being allocated properties in Kibbutz N'vei Yam which were heretofore not approved for construction.
The plan is a win-win situation for the families, the kibbutz, and the State of Israel. The families will finally be able to plan their futures, free of the uncertainty that has plagued them ever since they and nearly 9,000 others were thrown out of their homes in Gush Katif by the Sharon government in 2005. In addition, the members of N'vei Yam will receive 42 properties for their "second generation" members. And the State will bring in some 100 million shekels from the sale of 140 additional lots, at the whopping high price of 750,000 shekels each.
Probably the most famous resident of Elei Sinai is Avi Farhan, who holds the distinction of being the only person who was thrown out of his home twice by the Israeli government. He was first evicted from Yamit, in the Sinai, in 1982, when the city was destroyed by the Begin government after the signing of a peace treaty with Egypt. From there he moved to Elei Sinai – the site of his eviction in 2005.
Ironically, he moved to Elei Sinai in the first place at the behest of Ariel Sharon – who later orchestrated the destruction of that town.
It happened when he set off on a protest march against the withdrawal from Sinai, walking from Yamit to Jerusalem, which was widely publicized by the media. An aide of then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon met Farhan along the way, and said, "Arik [Sharon] says that instead of protesting and starting a refugee camp in Jerusalem, why don't you start a new community in the Erez area, in northern Gaza?"
Based on that conversation, Farhan and friends started Elei Sinai, a non religiouos community, which was later followed by the communities of Dugit and Nisanit.