Gush Katif Expellees Update

Out-of-work families from Bdolach are living in Nitzan, near Ashkelon, and Homesh families have moved to Yad Hannah, east of Netanya. Others have left Kibbutz Karmiyah for a hotel, in protest.

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Hillel Fendel, | updated: 12:06

Some 30 families of Bdolach - which was located between Gan-Or and Atzmona in Gush Katif - are now living in the caravilla site in Nitzan, north of Ashkelon, and another several families are scheduled to arrive this week. They have managed to maintain their communal structure, but face a host of other problems - chief among them being employment.

The evicted families were shuffled around over the past month to three different hotels - in Be'er Sheva, Ashkelon and along the Dead Sea shore - before ending up in Nitzan. They will be living in caravillas for the next 2-3 years, until their permanent homes are set to be ready in nearby Nitzanim.

Yoram Musavi, head of the Bdolach secretariat, told Arutz-7 today, "The main problem we now face is employment. The vast majority of us were farmers, but the State took our farms away, and is not replacing them. The best they can offer is assorted land-plots 35-40 minutes away from where we are living - but it's impossible to run a farm by remote control... All we're saying is that the State should build us new farms like the ones we had before, and we don't need any money in addition. But the State is not doing this."

Asked if some people are considering abandoning agriculture for other employment options, Yoram said, "Certainly. Within 2-3 months, the picture should clear up. But as of now, most of us have no income." He said that the residents continue to pay a small tax to the Bdolach secretariat, and the families continue to meet to discuss communal issues. "In December, we will decide if this arrangement will continue or not," Yoram said.

The families of Bdolach, a close-knit community, are now spread out in Nitzan. "There are a few groups of six or seven families in different areas of Nitzan, but that part is OK; we're close enough. The main problems are that the houses are built very close to each other, only 6 meters (20 feet) apart, and that the plumbing is atrocious - there are pipe-bursts and leaks all over the place. That's the price of the speed with which they were built."

Other families living in the caravila site of Nitzan are from Gan-Or, Gadid, Nisanit, and some from Netzer Hazani and Morag. Another 130 caravillas are being built for families from N'vei Dekalim.

Twenty-five families that were expelled last month from the Shomron community of Homesh will be moving today and tomorrow to Yad Hannah. Adjacent to Tul Karem and some ten kilometers east of Netanya, Yad Hannah was originally a Communist-founded kibbutz, but has now become a communal settlement. Kibbutz debts totaling 4.5 million shekels have been erased so that the kibbutz can absorb the new families. The relocated families will be living in caravillas, structures that have been designed for a 2-3 year stay.

On Friday, some families from Elei Sinai, Nisanit and Netzer Hazani that were staying in Kibbutz Karmiyah, just north of Gaza, left for an Ashkelon hotel. One of the former residents explained, on his way to the Shirat HaYam Hotel, "When they threw us out of Gaza, we thought we at least had gotten rid of the terrorists - but now we see that the terrorists are practically in the fields of Karmiyah and Yad Mordechai. We have no interest in living in the shadow of the terrorists again."