Hotel Tells Expellee Guests to Leave

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Hillel Fendel, | updated: 13:49

Some 50 families from assorted Gush Katif communities had a narrow brush with a fourth expulsion on Sunday.

Aharon Farjun - formerly of Bdolach in Gush Katif, currently of the Shirat HaYam Hotel in Ashkelon - said that he and his neighbors received notice Sunday morning that they must evacuate the hotel within three hours. The reason: financial misunderstandings with the government.

Families from Morag, N'vei Dekalim, Nisanit, Elei Sinai and Bdolach were to be affected. In the end, however, an agreement was reached, and the families are still there - at least until mid-October.

Before the happy ending, Farjun said, "There is no way that we will leave, unless they bring in Yassam police to take us out. We have been shuffled around from hotel to hotel, and we simply won't agree to continue to be treated this way. We're willing to go to [the temporary caravan site in] Nitzan, as we arranged with the government even before the expulsion, but the caravans aren't ready yet. If the government simply works faster, as when Ariel Sharon came to visit and banged his fist on the hood of the car, that will solve the problem."

Farjun said that he was among those who did not wait until the last minute, but rather talked with the government about future plans even before the expulsion became reality. "But now I realize that we should have been tougher," he said. "The fact is that we are all in the exact same boat; many of us who contacted the government earlier have no place to go, just like those who didn't begin discussions until later... The government originally promised us that we would go straight from our homes in Gush Katif to the new caravillas - but it's now seven weeks later, and we're still in this hotel."

Farjun said that in "my former life in Gush Katif, I was a happy farmer who raised spices. As of now, nothing appears to be ready for us to continue that life. The only lands they offered us were not fitting for what we grew. We're not in the position where we can test out lands and see what grows well; we already did that several years ago in Gush Katif, and went through hard times on that account, and we are not in a position to go through that process all over again."

Ephraim Goldstein, formerly of N'vei Dekalim and now living in a Jerusalem hotel, told Arutz-7, "I'm not bitter, because I'm too busy. I don't forgive those who were involved in this expulsion, but that's not the point right now. We're busy planning out our future. We won't allow them to land another blow on us by remaining bitter and frustrated." Goldstein and his wife Ayalah were also among those who were expelled from the original Atzmona in Sinai in 1982 to make way for the peace agreement with Egypt.