Ganei Tal and (Most of) Netzarim Begin Anew

As opposed to many others, some of the families that were uprooted and thrown out of their homes in Gush Katif over two months ago are finally beginning new lives this week.

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Hillel Fendel, | updated: 09:19

photo of caravila, courtesy of
The former residents of Ganei Tal, who have been housed in guest house conditions in Kibbutz Chafetz Chaim for over ten weeks, moved in to their new temporary quarters in Yad Binyamin on Thursday. Long-time resident Moti Sender, the editor of the site, was one of those who moved in. His view:

"This is also a temporary solution, because hopefully, within another year or two, we will build our permanent community; it's not for sure, but it looks like it will be right outside Chafetz Chaim... The new caravillas we have are much better than the 20 square meters we had until now. These are pre-fab houses made up of various structures of different ages, and many mistakes have been made in the construction, but the bottom line is that we will now be able to get on with our lives here, together."

Yad Binyamin and Chafetz Chaim are located within five kilometers of each other, east of Ashdod.

"I have to emphasize," Sender said, "that thankfully, unlike other communities, Ganei Tal was able to remain together. But, as I told [Disengagement Authority chief] Yonatan Bassi, who was here today [during the move], the biggest crime of this entire disengagement is that of the crumbling of the communities - Moshav Katif is falling apart while it waits for solutions, and Atzmonah has split up into two, and Netzer Hazani is [currently] divided in two, and N'vei Dekalim is altogether crumbling..."

Sender noted that though the Disengagement Authority did not provide much help in the move to Yad Binyamin, many volunteers were very generous with their time and skills. "A small announcement on the site that volunteers would be welcome produced dozens of responses," Sender said. "The People of Israel once again were shown in top form. Truck drivers came and offered to help move our belongings, an electrician offered to install Sabbath clocks in the new homes at his own expense, families offered us baked goods, and more."

Most of the families of Netzarim are also starting their new lives these days. Some 40 families have left their quarters in the students' dormitories of the Ariel College in the Shomron, and are on their way to the Halutza Sands area south of Gaza. They will be living in assorted caravans and caravillas in Yevul, which is currently a secular community of 40 families. The Netzarim families will not formally join Yevul, however, but will merely live there for a year or two as they build their new permanent community nearby.

The remaining 17 families of Netzarim preferred to remain in Ariel, where they felt they could have more direct contact with the Israeli public. No housing has yet been found in the city for their group, however, and they have temporarily relocated to Karnei Shomron, about 15 kilometers to the northwest. They have been joined by five other families from Moshav Katif and elsewhere in Gush Katif. The conditions there are generally poorer than in Ariel, Tami Z., one of the Netzarim-Ariel women told Arutz-7:

"Twelve families are living in the high school dormitory; the students have been crowded into the other dorm. Eight of the larger families, with children and more, are living in the guest house apartments, which are actually quite nice, and the two other families - those with five children - are living in caravans near the school." The boys will continue to learn in the Talmud Torah in Eli, which will now be a 45-minute drive for them, and the girls in Peduel, just 15 minutes away.