Supreme Court to Decide Fate of Katif From Afar

Supreme Court justices will not visit Gush Katif, despite an invitation by the residents. So confirmed a spokesman. The Court must rule on 12 petitions against the disengagement in the coming days.

, | updated: 11:36

A forum of 11 judges, including Chief Justice Aharon Barak, is responsible for deciding the issue. Earlier this month, during a marathon session on the 12 petitions, Barak asked for a detailed proposal for a possible visit of the judges to Gush Katif. He made the request of Atty. Yitzchak Meron of the Land of Israel Legal Forum, a voluntary group representing the financial interests of the residents slated for uprooting.

The Gaza Coast Regional Council prepared a detailed itinerary for the visit, and was designed - in accordance with Barak's request - in a manner that would avoid unexpected encounters with residents. The judges had been concerned that they would encounter angry residents, such as the zealously vocal ones who greeted Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz in N'vei Dekalim last month.

Gaza Coast Regional Council head Avner Shimoni, who sent the invitation, promised Barak that the visit would be conducted securely and in a dignified manner.

However, days passed and the Supreme Court did not RSVP, raising suspicions that the justices were not planning to come. In response to a query by Arutz-7's Yehuda Freiman, in fact, a Court spokesperson said that the visit would not be held.

A Justice Ministry spokesperson, however, said that a final decision on the matter would be made today or tomorrow.

Students and Their Tests
In other Gush Katif news, the matter of schoolchildren and their studies is of concern. MK Gila Finkelstein (National Religious Party) initiated a Knesset Education Committee session for today, in which she will demand that the students receive extra consideration for their high school matriculation exams.

"Just like the students in Kiryat Shmonah received extra leniencies on their tests during the years they suffered from Katyusha attacks," Finkelstein said, "those who are slated to be expelled should be treated the same way. Concern for the residents' welfare must be disconnected from the admiration one feels or doesn't feel towards the residents."

Summer Recreation
The question of summer recreation is also a troubling one. Dror Vanunu, Chairman of the Katif Region Development Fund, says that while the children of Sderot were offered aid from many organizations such as the Jewish Agency, the same help has not been forthcoming for the children of Gush Katif. "What will we do with all our children this summer," Vanunu asks, "when army checkpoints prevent people from coming to visit, with soldiers and policemen roaming around, and with the threat of expulsion hanging over their heads?"

Education Minister Limor Livnat announced last week that the Education Ministry would provide special programming for Gush Katif this summer, but did not provide details. Vanunu said he has not yet received information on the Ministry's plans.

Video films on Gush Katif in various languages can be seen on the Katif Fund site .

Orange Flags
Lifeguards who arrived at work this morning on beaches throughout the country were startled to discover that the black no-swimming flags had been replaced by orange flags. Activists had spent the night hours posting the flags on the lifeguards' booths, as well as a letter of explanation. "The waves may be calm," read the note, "but the ocean is very stormy. The errant public would rather ascertain the height of the waves, instead of checking the reality underneath."

"Jews don't expel Jews," the notes concluded. The flags were removed by the lifeguards before the swimming public arrived.