Ashkelon Coast Regional Council will be filing an appeal with the High Court of Israel regarding the evacuees of Gush Katif, who for upwards of a decade have been living in temporary housing in Nitzan.
The evacuees are still living in the temporary housing caravans set up by the state since the evacuation of Gush Katif in the summer of 2005. According to the appeal, the council is claiming that the government of Israel did not live up to its responsibilities in resettling the “last of the evacuees to permanent housing within four years of the evacuation.” So said Yair Fergon, head of the regional council.
According to Fergon: “Since the government is not following up on its decisions and the program to close the evacuation site has taken over a decade, we are preparing to file an appeal with the High Court of Justice regarding this matter in the coming days. This seems to be the only way to get the country make a significant change.”
In actuality, the appeal is a renewal of a standing court-case that was put on hold in 2005. In response to building the caravans on the site of Nitzan, local residents sued the government for allowing itself to ignore building permits that were required when building the site. At the time the High Court negotiated an agreement in which the government would find permanent housing for all of the evacuees and clear out the temporary residence site within four years.
Fergon stated that it is his intention to force the government the finalize the resettlement to permanent housing within a realistic time period. “This chapter in our history has to come to a close. And if the government will not take it upon itself to do so, we will take the initiative to make certain that it is done immediately. It is unfathomable to leave hundreds of families with the feeling of being refugees in their own country. The social rehabilitation that is necessary will never end until all of the residents have a permanent home.”