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Katif Expellees Await Government Signatures

Five and a half years after expulsion, former Katif residents are still waiting for signatures to allow new housing.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/23/2011, 10:53 PM / Last Update: 2/24/2011, 2:15 AM

Flash 90

Five and a half years after the government expelled Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria, many of the expellees are still waiting for the signatures that will let them move into new homes, it was revealed Wednesday. MK Uri Ariel (National Union) raised the issue in a meeting of the State Control Committee.

“There is progress being made, and a lot has been done, but we need to finish this worrying affair already. It turns out that despite the amount of time that has passed since the expulsion, agreements on transferring communities to permanent homes have yet to be signed,” Ariel said.

Bentzi Lieberman of the Tnufa Administration, which is tasked with resettling expellees, said, “We are encountering pretty much every obstacle in the Israeli bureaucracy.” Each step forward requires approval from several offices, and if even one signature is delayed, the entire process slows, he said.

Doron Ben Shlomi, head of the Gush Katif residents council, told the committee that approval has been delayed for towns that were planned up to six years ago. The government built temporary housing in Amatzia, in the Lachish region, immediately after the expulsion, with the intention of making the housing site a permanent town. Despite those plans, residents of Amatzia are still waiting for official approval to create their town, he said.

Attorney Shlomo Ben Eliyahu said he expects at least three of the agreements in question to be signed within three months.