More than six years after the expulsion of Jews from Gaza, families from Netzarim, Atzmona and elsewhere are finally settling down in new homes. The homes are in the new towns of Naveh and Bnei Netzarim, both a short distance from Gaza.
Bnei Netzarim is now home to 96 families, while Naveh houses 80.
The towns remain unfinished; Bnei Netzarim is still waiting for day care centers, a mikvah (ritual pool), a synagogue and the town’s electricity infrastructure to be completed. However, the situation is a step in the right direction for families that have spent years living in makeshift “caravilla” homes that were meant to be used for no more than a few months.
Liora Toshinsky of the Tnufa Administration, which is tasked with resettling Katif families, extended her congratulations to the families. “These families join approximately 350 others that have moved into their permanent housing in towns. [Tnufa] continues to make every effort to move communities and families into permanent housing as quickly as possible,” she said.
The State of Israel has “a moral debt to pay” toward those still living in caravans or other temporary housing, she added.
In October, the administration celebrated the absorption of several dozen Katif families in Kibbutz Palmachim.
Many families expelled from Gaza have faced difficulty moving to permanent housing after being forced to use their compensation money to meet day-to-day expenses in the years after the expulsion. Others were able to save their money and build new homes in what the state has promised will be their new communities, but found themselves without water or electricity as bureaucracy slowed the construction of vital infrastructure.
Community leaders have warned that the remaining caravan sites are at grave risk in case of rocket attacks.