Rabbi Dr. Ofir Cohen of Tenufah
Rabbi Dr. Ofir Cohen of TenufahMiriam Amitai

The head of Tenufa, the association tasked with resettling those who were expelled from Gaza, clarified that residents of a caravan site in Nitzan, who were struggling to pay a newly imposed rent while in the financial throws of construction on new permanent homes, would not have to undergo this financial burden.

Rabbi Dr. Ofir Cohen announced on Tuesday that families living in mobile homes who are in the midst of construction of new homes would not be required to pay rent on the caravans, despite previous orders forcing the residents to do just that.

It was reported earlier today that 165 families, who were evicted from their homes in Gush Katif during the 2005 disengagement, were given notices to leave their mobile homes in Nitzan out of the refusal or inability to pay the newly imposed rent. It was also reported that families who managed to finance the purchase of land and have begun building homes but wish to remain in the caravan site until construction is complete would have to pay heavy fines to do so. 

Many of the families are still in dire financial situations, seven years after the disengagement, and have been unable to recover from the loss of their homes, jobs and businesses. 

Tenufah clarified that the rent exemption only applies to those who have started construction on their homes. Families who received land from the State, but have not yet started building, will have to settle any rent issues with Amigur, which manages the site. 

Residents, who rented rather than owned homes in Gush Katif, will now be asked to pay rent on the caravans. 

Cohen emphasized that the majority of residents already live in permanent homes or are in the process of building one.

Cohen noted that Tenufa's management and economic consultants will continue to aid and advise families who are having trouble finding permanent residence.