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Gush Katif Expellees Finally Get to Build

The families of the former Gush Katif community of Eili Sinai have finally been given funds to build new homes - at Kibbutz Palmachim.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 10/4/2011, 5:58 PM

Six years after the destruction of their homes in Gush Katif, residents of the community of Eili Sinai will be beginning anew at Kibbutz Palmachim.

Last year the members of Kibbutz Palmachim held a secret ballot in which 93% of its members voted to absorb the families of Eili Sinai into their community where they could build permanent homes for themselves, but red tape at the regional council level kept the plan from moving forward.

Since then the government's "momentum" ofice has been trying to find ways to speed up the process of resettling and rehabilitating families whose lives were tragically torn apart by the Sharon government during the 2005 Gaza 'disengagement’ – a process many say has taken too long already.

But on Monday the funds necessary for the construction of homes for the evacuees at the kibbutz were officially transferred to the Gan Raveh regional council, finally allowing the opening of a tender for the construction of the expellees new homes.

Momentum chairman Benzi Lieberman said, "Monday's agreement paves the way for the permanent homes for an important community, and allows them to continue the process of returning to the circle of life, work and prosperity."

Eighty-seven families lived in Eili Sinai before the disengagement, who hope to establish permanent homes in Neve Yam, Palmahim and Talmei Yafeh.