Katif Families Continue to Live in Uncertainty

Many groups of expelled Gush Katif families, almost two months after being thrown out of their homes, still do not know where the government will agree to house them.

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Hillel Fendel, | updated: 13:15

* A large group of expelled Gush Katif residents - mostly from N'vei Dekalim and Netzer Hazani - were informed yesterday (Monday) that all agreement and plans regarding plans for their temporary homes in Kibbutz Ein Tzurim were canceled. However, intensive hours of talks during the course of the day between the Israel Lands Authority and Ein Tzurim yielded fruit, and it was announced late last night that work on the site will begin immediately after the Sukkot holiday. The work is expected to take at least four months.

Aviel Tucker of Netzer Hazani said that, unlike other expelled residents, they have not been told that they must leave their temporary lodgings by the end of October: "Here, where we are staying - in Hispin in the Golan - the conditions are relatively very good. Our hosts are just amazing, and the guest house even allowed our wives to take over the kitchen before Rosh HaShanah and cook their own food... I have to note especially Gabi Hemu, the manager of the guest house and the deputy mayor of the Golan Regional Council; he has just been amazing..."

"I also want people to know," Tucker added, "that we have opened a Torah-study Kollel for the men here; many of us don't have work, so instead of wasting our time, we study Torah for several hours each day. The rabbis of the yeshiva here, headed by Rabbi Avraham Shiller, give of their time to teach us."

* On Sunday night, the 35 expellee families of N'vei Dekalim who are in the Hyatt Hotel in Jerusalem received word that they must vacate the hotel by Oct. 26, the day after the Sukkot holiday. One of the residents, Naamah Gross, said that this threat has been made before, "and we told them that we refuse to be pawns in the fights between the hotel and the Disengagement Authority. If they want to throw us out, let them bring the Yassam police again." Gross and her family are among those awaiting the completion of caravillas in Nitzan.

Other expelled residents in similar predicaments are those of Gadid in the N'vei Ilan Hotel, and 50 families from various communities in the Shirat HaYam Hotel in Ashkelon. The latter hotel abruptly turned off the electricity and water on its guests just hours before the Sabbath, turning it on again only when an agreement had been reached to delay their re-expulsion by another week.

* The former residents of Moshav Katif, who have been living in the Kfar Pines Ulpanah Girls' High School near Hadera in the nearly two months since their expulsion, say the situation cannot continue this way. The high school senior girls have generously agreed to live in classrooms and specially-made tents, in order to allow the families to live in their dorm rooms. The families say they greatly appreciate the girls' hospitality, but that a more permanent solution must be found.

At present, two options are under consideration: Relocation to the Chafetz Chaim guest house when the current guests, the ex-residents of Ganei Tal, move to their caravillas in nearby Yad Binyamin, or the renting of three apartment buildings in Kiryat Malachi.