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      A Gush Katif Photographic Retrospective

      Yishai and Malkah Fleisher had the privilege of moving down to Gush Katif as Arutz-7 correspondents. The following photo essay records the life of Gush Katif as seen by their lens.
      By Yishai Fleisher and Ezra HaLevi
      First Publish: 8/26/2005, 8:54 AM / Last Update: 8/25/2005, 4:28 PM

      (Email subscribers, click here to view this extensive photographic retrospective)

      The Fleishers lived in the town of Gadid for one month and one week, during which they met the people of the Gush, helped them build, celebrated with them, worried with them, laughed with them and cried with them.

      The following pictures and captions are the Fleishers' eyewitness documentation of the historic events.

      Heaven on Earth
      The Sun sets on N'vei Dekalim
      A family in Gadid
      A tent on the beach of the seaside community of Shirat Hayam
      Flowers outside N'vei Dekalim's synagogue
      A beautiful building and central square in Gan Or
      The Synagogue in Morag
      G-d watches over us
      The nurseries of Atzmona
      Children send up orange balloons at a celebration in Gadid
      A colorful resident at a thankgiving gathering in Gadid


      A Protest Surfaces
      At Kisufim Checkpoint, a face-to-face confrontation between a resident and soldier
      Things heat up in Kfar Darom
      A truck removing an IDF structure is blocked
      After refusing orders, a soldier is taken away
      Americans arrive to protest expulsion
      "G-d is the King" "Who dares fight the King?"
      Pop/folk singer Ariel Zilber plays a concert to boost moral
      Rabbi Yigal Kaminetsky prays with his flock
      Banner hanging in N'vei Dekalim
      "The transfer will not pass" reads a sticker in front of the Synagogue of Atzmona


      The Writing Is On The Wall
      "For 27 Years the Gush was my home, now the Sharon family is throwing me into the street"
      The Holy Temple
      "Our spirit you shall not break"
      So many miracles, G-d put up an umbrella
      "The IDF? Contractors for Hamas"
      "A Jew threw me out" - a graphical play on an ad campaign urging Israelis on both sides of the Disengagement controversy not to cut off contact with one another
      "This was my home"
      "9th of Av 1492 - eviction from Spain, 9th of Av 2005 - eviction from Gush Katif. We will not forget, we will not forgive"
      "The old fool rebels against the King - who is he!?"


      It Begins
      Chief of Staff Dan Halutz arrives on the scene
      On the day of the eviction, the Jewish bookstore in Neve Dekalim remains open
      The special Disengagement police arrive, wearing black uniforms
      A civilian town turns into a military zone
      Massive prayer rally fills N'vei Dekalim's streets
      Rabbis with Shofars cry out to Heaven
      Families come to pray at the graves of their loved ones
      Media people everywhere
      A family is told they have two hours to leave
      A female soldier passes out after children talk her out of participation in the eviction


      The Pain Sets In
      A soldier marks off 'fallen' houses on an aerial photo
      "Why are you doing this?"
      A detainee above soldier
      Evictee embraces evictor
      The supermarket shelves are empty
      A soldier looks up at the Namir house/stronghold in N'vei Dekalim
      A Namir girl chides the soldiers
      N'vei Dekalim: a heaven turned to hell
      Jewish hippy moves into empty house


      People React Differently
      A detainee mocks the army
      A mother is evicted while embracing her child
      Members of the Cohen family leave their house crying and singing
      A child's toy is lost
      The army tapes all those who resist, including the Bazak family
      A Jewish home burns
      This man was injured by soldiers
      A policeman eats ice cream while Jewish home burns in background
      Chezi tears his shirt, a ritual symbolizing mourning
      The army begins its siege of the N'vei Dekalim Synagogue. Youth can be seen silhouetted in the background.


      The Cruelty
      Divide and conquer at the N'vei Dekalim Synagogue compound
      An IDF officer breaks down, crying hysterically
      People climb up on roofs....
      ...But the army chases them
      ...and takes them down


      Finality
      Protesters are thrown unto busses
      Talking does not seem to help
      A Jewish army?
      "The Disengagement"
      "Yizkor" - soldier and candle
      Arab kid waits till the dust settles down to inherit
      Uri Bar-Lev, head Disengagement for the police, tells Fleisher, "I don't want to hear it, just get out"
      Last look at the sea, for now.

      (Photos: Yishai and Malkah Fleisher)