Gush Katif Evacuees: Expulsion Head Abandoned Us

Ten years since expulsion from Gaza, residents meet with head of relocation and pin him down for continuing to neglect them.

Yishai Karov ,

Yonatan Bassi
Yonatan Bassi
Flash 90

An unusual meeting took place this week at the legal faculty of Hebrew University in Jerusalem between members of the Gush Katif residents' council and Yonatan Bassi, who was head of the SELA Administration to resettle families who were forcibly evicted from their homes in Gush Katif and northern Samaria in 2005.

The meeting took place to commemorate ten years to the expulsion of all Jewish residents from Gush Katif in Gaza, a move which shortly thereafter led to Hamas terrorists seizing control of the coastal enclave.

During the meeting, Hagit Yaron of the residents' council who was herself expelled from Neve Dekalim charged Bassi with abandoning entire families.

"The SELA Administration knew everything about us before conducting the expulsion plan, they knew that we live as a community but they decided to scatter us," Yaron said. "Instead of building new communities and then bringing us to them, they decided to conduct a horrific plan to evacuate us to mobile homes, which is a nice-sounding name for cardboard boxes."

In response, Bassi claimed that not all of the residents agreed to coordinate with the SELA Administration, and claimed that those who did speak with SELA found a housing solution.

"That's not true at all," responded the expelled former residents. "There are dozens of families who spoke with the SELA Administration and reached agreements with them, but they still live in temporary homes and not in permanent homes."

During the meeting Yaron was asked why some of the residents used violence against the IDF forces expelling them, to which she said the claim of violence is completely unfounded.

She said, "there was no violence among the Gush Katif residents. There was a verbal protest but not a single person raised their hand (to strike). What's more, Gush Katif residents always followed the procedures from the leadership to preserve the unity of the (Jewish) people, so as not to reach a schism in the people."

"If there was violence, it was by people who came from outside Gush (Katif) and entered, and we have no connection with them."