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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gush Katif’

Israel Inspired: Amona: The Inside Story [audio]

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Interview with Manya Hillel, a resident of Amona, whose home and community is slated for destruction by Supreme Court order. Also, Anita Tucker a resident of the former communities of Gush Katif in Gaza, talks about what it’s like to be evicted by your own government. Ari and Jeremy discuss the spiritual implications of the impending demolition of an entire Jewish town and how we can fight it.

To support the brave pioneers of Amona please click on the link below: www.headstart.co.il/project.aspx?id…21436&lan=en-US

The Land of Israel

Report: State Auditor Looking for Gush Katif Missing $1.3 Billion

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Israel’s State Auditor, Retired Judge Joseph Shapira, has ordered an investigation of Minhelet T’nufah, the Momentum Administration, a.k.a. the Disengagement Administration, set up in 2005 by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office to care for the Jews who were being expelled from Gaza. Its original director was Yonatan Bassi of the Religious Kibbutz movement, Yediot Aharonot reported Tuesday.

T’nufah ceased to exist in 2014, and currently the former residents of Gush Katif are being cared for by a dedicated department in Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel’s office. However, despite its being defunct for more than two years, T’nufh continues to receive state funds estimated in the billions of shekels. Only two years ago, according to Yediot, T’nufah received some $42 million, and it isn’t clear where that money has gone.

Apparently, the missing money was noticed by MK Stav Shafir (Zionist Camp) at a meeting of the Knesset State Control Committee. Examining the T’nefah financial reports she realized only $2.1 billion out of the overall $3.41 billion allotted to the Gush Katif support efforts had been used to date. Where is the missing $1.31 billion?

Many of the evicted Jews of Gush Katif were resettled in Nitzan, a community near Kibutz Nitzanim in Ashkelon Coast Regional Council, just north of the Gaza Strip. A local official told Yediot that the burden of helping the evicted families fell mostly on the regional council, which had to fight for every penny with the Momentum Administration to manage their employment, social services, education, and psychological care. This official believes most of the missing money is being kept in the Agriculture Ministry’s coffers.


Survey: Half of Evacuees Believe They’ll Return to Gush Katif

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

More than a decade after they had been expelled from their homes as part of the “disengagement” program, half of the sample of 248 Gush Katif evacuees responding to a survey conducted by the Raffi Smith Research and polling Institute said they believe they’d be returning home to Gush Katif some day. Of those, 92% said they would return when invited to. Among those who did not believe in the possibility of a return, fewer than half said they would take advantage of such an offer.

A full 30% of respondents say they still define themselves as Gush Katif residents and only a quarter see themselves as belonging to their new communities. Two thirds said living in a community has helped their adjustment process.

The survey found that religious evacuees have done better than their secular brethren. 90% of the religious respondents said they were satisfied with their new residence, compared with only 56% of the secular. More than 70% of the religious said their lives have returned to normal, compared with only 52% of the secular and 51% of those who described themselves as traditional.

There were a few specific differences between former residents of Nisanit, the largest settlement in the northern tip of the Gaza Strip, and the evacuees of the Gush Katif bloc in the southern part of the strip. Nisanit, which numbered about 300 families (some 900 people), was a ‘mixed’ settlement, with religious and secular Jews living together. Only half of the Nisanit residents surveyed said they had been able to return to a normal life, compared with two-thirds of the southern dwellers. Only a third of the northerners found a proper solution in new communities, compared with 70% of the people from the south.

As many as 80% of respondents said they were holding on to some object—from a sand bottle to a garden rock—from their demolished homes. 30% of them still reside in temporary housing. 14% are unemployed, in an Israeli job market with only 4.8% unemployment.

The survey was ordered by the Gush Katif Residents Committee, on the occasion of the publishing of the new book Makom (Place) by Ofra Lax. Committee chairwoman Hagit Yaronsaid in a statement, “Eleven years after the uprooting, the great Gush Katif family continues to miss its home. The residents are longing for the place, the friends and communities that have been dispersed across the country. There’s no doubt that our transfer as whole communities has enabled us to return to life and rebuild our settlements. Many among us still believe that some day the nation of Israel will return to Gush Katif, to grow and be grown in its sands.”


Israel Uncensored: JobKatif – Expanding Services for Those in Need [audio]

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

11 years after the expulsion from Gush Katif, the JobKatif organization continues to provide employment opportunities and training for those whose lives were shattered following the 2005 pull-out. Thanks to their efforts 85% of the Gush Katif evacuees now have jobs, with hopes that all will eventually become employed. At the same time, the organization has expanded its reach offering programming for a wide range of other disadvantaged communities in Israel. On today’s Israel Uncensored, Josh Hasten speaks with Judy Lowy, JobKatif’s Executive Director who details the organization’s invaluable initiatives.

The Land of Israel

MKs Commemorate Gush Katif Expulsion, Seek to Learn From Mistakes

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Nitzan (TPS) – The Gush Katif and Northern Samaria Commemoration Center held a conference on Monday commemorating the eleventh anniversary of Israel’s “Disengagement.” Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdrew all Jewish presence from Gaza and four communities in northern Samaria eleven years ago in the spirit of the Road Map for Peace plan promoted by US President George W. Bush.

Several Members of Knesset attended the conference and discussed lessons that could be learned from the event.

“The Israeli government uprooted dozens of settlements and thousands of Israelis from their homes. In return, missiles rained upon our cities, our communities, and our children,” said Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud). “The argument that withdrawal would bring peace with the Palestinians, or at least bring us closer to peace, was not built on a realistic vision.”

Gamliel also argued that Israel’s presence in Gaza was not the initial cause for attacks against Israel.

“Whoever thinks that the continued hostility against Israel is a result of our presence in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza is mistaken,” she claimed.

“We were attacked before a single Israeli soldier was ever in Judea and Samaria,” continued Gamliel, referencing instances in which Israel was attacked by its Arab neighbors in the years before Israel gained control of Judea and Samaria in 1967.

Gamliel insisted that Israel must stop the Palestinian Authority from allowing and encouraging incitement to take place in communities under its jurisdiction.

“We should demand first and foremost the cessation of incitement in the Palestinian Authority and we have to hope that the Israeli people learned a moral lesson from the expulsion in that there should be no further expulsion of Jews,” she stressed. “So long as entire generations in the Palestinian Authority are taught to be anti-Semitic, there is no chance for peace.”

Zionist Union MK Merav Michaeli, who was also in attendance, said that she had disagreed with the Disengagement when it was implemented.

“I was opposed to the Disengagement at the time,” Michaeli said. “I thought that although we had to leave the Gaza Strip, we could not tear the community apart without ensuring that security and quiet would follow. In other words, we should have left with an agreement.”

Although MK Michaeli acknowledged that Israel has faced threats to its security from Gaza in the years following the Disengagement, she expressed her belief that the Disengagement ultimately saved lives, albeit having been implemented in the wrong manner.

“The question now is what to do next,” she asked, adding that she hoped that a future solution to the conflict would allow as many people to remain in their homes as possible.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

AG Recommends Evacuating Amona, Residents Hoping for Political Rescue

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said on Sunday that there is no legal obstacle barring a review of the status of lands adjacent to the community of Amona in Benjamin regional council, to start a discussion of potentially moving there the residents of the community which has been slated for demolition by the end of the year by the supreme court. Mandelblit spoke at a discussion with government officials of regulating the status of Amona.

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the Amona community is illegal under Israeli law, based on petitions of presumed original Arab owners of the land who had been rounded up by anti-Zionist groups like Peace Now and Yesh Din. Since then, the court has ruled again on the Amona case, ordering that the Jewish residents must be evacuated, the housing and infrastructure destroyed and the area be handed to the Arabs.

According to the Amona residents, when the community was founded in 1995 it was by a state initiative, promoted by then housing minister Natan Sharansky, who invested millions of dollars in creating an infrastructure, paving roads and promoting construction, all of it under the auspices of the state. If there were irregularities with the land purchase, it was the state’s problem, not theirs. Had they known the land was privately owned they would have stayed away, but they were told by the state to move in — let the state deal with the alleged original owners.

It should be noted that when Mandelblit was being considered for the AG appointment, he was favored by the right for his idea that in just these kinds of cases, with anti-Jewish settlement activists signing up claimants against existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and the claimants prove ownership (which is not so hard to do considering the land registration archives are kept in Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority) — said claimants be compelled to accept fair market value for the property, or comparable property. Mind you, this is after some Arab real estate agent had received full pay for the same land.

Now, despite his wise recommendation on grandfathering existing Jewish communities, the AG is obviously feeling that he can’t go to battle against a clear Supreme Court ruling to demolish Amona, and so he recommends finding an alternative land not for the alleged Arab owners, but for the very real Jewish residents instead.

Amona was the site of one of the most brutal attacks of Israeli government forces on Jewish residents in the state’s history. On February 1, 2006, Amona Jewish residents and protesters were evacuated by 10,000 Israeli Police, Border Police, and Army troops. The estimated 4,000 Jews on the Amona grounds mostly consisted of youths from nearby communities. More than 300 were injured, including some 80 security personnel. Among the injured were three Knesset members. After several hours, the Amona homes had been demolished. A few girls that were evacuated accused police officers of sexual assault.

In March 2006, the Knesset parliamentary inquiry into the events at Amona determined that security forces had employed brutal force, striking protesters with clubs and charging them with horses. Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra was criticized for preventing police commanders from testifying at committee hearings. The committee also found contradictions between the testimonies of the Army Chief of Staff and the Internal Security Minister.

Today, none of the coalition parties wants to position itself behind a similar evacuation effort, a move which could kill their political aspirations among their rightwing voters. Likud, Habayit Hayehudi and Yisrael Beiteinu officials have stated recently that this government will not permit the destruction of Amona. When the brutal evacuation took place in 2006, it was carried out by the same government that had evacuated Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip in 2005, yet another traumatic event in recent Israeli history. That government was ruled by the Kadima party, a political albatross invented by soon-to-go-comatose Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, which has since disappeared from the political map, and serves as a warning to all Israeli rightwing parties wishing to err leftward.

With that in mind, it can be expected that Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Liberman and Justice Minister Shaked come up with a solution that keeps the Jewish settlers in place, risking the ire of the high court, as well as of Israel’s many friends in the free world. It should provide for great political theater, as these three politicians will show their ability to both capitulate and gravel while proudly standing erect. It’s time to call in the chiropractors.


Rejuvenation: The Spirit of Gush Katif [audio]

Monday, August 1st, 2016

It’s now 11 years since the Expulsion from Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron, Laurence Baziz, projects coordinator for the phenomenal Katif Heritage Center, speaks with Eve about where the 2000 families are now, both physically and emotionally. The youth have in the main re-engaged with their country via the army and other institutions, while former farmers have had a much more difficult time. A conference on August 8th in Nitzan will commemorate the events of 2005 yet focus on how to strengthen our society, encourage patriotism and love of Land and Nation despite betrayals and setbacks. Is it realistic to dream of a return to the sands of Gaza? With faith and prayer, hope and hard work, yearnings have been answered before, as in Gush Etzion after 1967. So who knows what will be- let’s be ready for every eventuality. And meanwhile ensure that this travesty never happens again.

The Land of Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/multimedia/land-of-israel/rejuvenation-with-eve-harow/rejuvenation-the-spirit-of-gush-katif-audio/2016/08/01/

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