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Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Report #11: State of [evicted] Gush Katif, Northern Gaza and Northern Shomron Communities

State of Gush Katif, Northern Gaza and Northern Shomron Communities
Report #11, October 17, 2005
Submitted by Toby Klein Greenwald
Commissioned by Israel Resource News Agency
and the Center for Near East Policy Research
(all previous reports are to be found through the search engine at:

A personal holiday note from the researcher:
These reports have been sent to the State Comptroller, to selected members
of the Knesset and other public figures, to organizational heads and to the
media in North America and Israel.

While the feedback we are receiving from all ends of the political
spectrum, both in Israel and abroad, is gratifying, we would be
appreciative if you let the editors in your own cities know that you
appreciate this material and think it should reach a wider public. - TKG

Update on the 30,000 shekel burial for Netzer Hazani victim
As a result of this report, and the fact that the researcher contacted the
office of Minister of Science and Technology Matan Vilnai, the matter was
dealt with by his office and they contacted us yesterday (Sunday) to report
that all the money would be returned to Hezi Hazani's family and that, as a
result of this terrible story, the situation won't repeat itself. Vilnai's
staff is eager to let the public know that if, G-d forbid, another evacuee
dies, his family will not have to pay to have their loved one buried.
(Explanation for those who missed the previous report: Every citizen of
Israel has the right to be buried free of charge in his home town, but the
Netezer Hanazi heart attack victim's family was asked to pay to bury him in
Rishon Ltzion, since it's not his "home town". He had no current home town,
since his home is rubble in Gaza.)
Moshav Katif
According to the internal Gush Katif website, Katif.net, the community of
Moshav Katif, that has been living in very difficult dorm conditions since
the disengagement, thought they would finally achieve a modicum of peace of
mind when they move to the guest house of Hafetz Haim, after it is vacated
by the people of Ganei Tal, who are due to move into their caravans in Yad
Binyamin (which, the people of Ganei Tal say, are not yet ready, and in
livable condition).

The Katif people, however, had a rude awakening this week when their
representatives were told that the Disengagement Authority was willing to
pay the hotel only 10% of the cost of the rooms. The hotel had been willing
to give a 20% discount, but the Authority reportedly wanted a 90% discount.
It also insisted that the hotel provide only one hot meal a day, and that
the evacuees would have to manage in their rooms for the other two meals.
Having visited the Ganei Tal community in Hafetz Haim, we can report that
the rooms are very small, about 60% the size of a regular hotel room, and
there are no cooking facilities. Nevertheless, the Moshav Katif people were
willing to live in those conditions, but the deal fell through, according
to them, due to the demands of the Disengagement Authority.

The Authority was contacted for a response but there is only a recorded
message that the spokesman will be back after the 19th.
The community of Bdoloch staying in the Shirat Hayam Hotel has been told
that the hotel will be closed, and it should stop providing food and other
services. We spoke with Uri Mensharf, the Disengagement Authority contact
at the hotel, who refused to give details without permission of the
Authority spokesman, but he's abroad on vacation and won't be back till the
end of the week.

According to Adi, a volunteer at the hotel, there are three families there
with no where to go; the others are making do at the homes of friends and
families. Some families have moved into caravans in Nitzan. Aaron Farjun,
spokesman for Gadid, who moved into a caravan in Nitzan several weeks ago,
said they are very poor quality and when asked about the fire-proofedness
of them, he laughed and said, "First ask if they're waterproof!" since
there have been problems with water pipes leaking, bursting, and some of
the waterproofing tests done in recent days proved that some of the
caravans (the percentage is not clear) will not withstand the winter.
Shoshi Journeau of the Gadid community staying in the Neve Ilan Hotel, said
that some of the families are, for the Succot holiday, back in the same
decrepit hotel in Tiberias where they were for Rosh Hashana (as Neve Ilan
once again needed their rooms for regular tourists), but the hotel
supposedly put in the effort to have cleaned up its act. "There is a little
bit of improvement," says Shoshi, "but we've stopped complaining because it
doesn't help much, one can't ask them for too much."

Yesterday (Sunday) representatives from Gadid went to see the apartment
hotel rooms that the Disengagement Authority had offered them in Ashkelon
for the next four months. "There are very tiny rooms, one small burner per
family, very uncomfortable. It appears they didn't even check the place
before they sent us to see it," says Shoshi. "The main thing is they say,
'We offered the settlers and they refused.' They also offered larger
apartments, that were empty, but for that we'd have to empty all our
containers, to get to the furniture we'd need, and we're afraid that if we
leave the hotel for something temporary, that isn't really a solution, no
one will take a second look at us. Now the ball is in their court. For
Simhat Tora we were invited to the settlement of Dolev." What about the
problem with no proper laundry arrangements? "The laundry problem was
partially solved. We try to solve our problems through friends, but it's

Kerem Atzmona
The containers of Kerem Atzmona, which were packed by the sub-contractors
of the Ministry of Defense of Israel, were delivered to their homes in
Nitzan this week, and the community's people were shocked to discover that
refrigerators, washing machines, stoves, bookshelves, closets and other
furniture had been broken. Other objects were missing. Not all the boxes
even made it into the containers, because, they were told by the packers
who were also the unpackers, "There wasn't room."

Asaf Shariv, media advisory for PM Ariel Sharon, had told this researcher
several weeks before the disengagement, when asked if the contents of the
containers would be insured, that "the settlers will not bear the financial
burden of anything that is broken or missing".

In general, said Avia Halevi, our contact in Kerem Atzmona, originally from
Toronto, "The attitude to us during the disengagement was terrible. It took
seven hours to go by bus from Kerem Atzmona to Sderot, a 30-minute trip.
First we sat on the bus for three hours, and they wouldn't even let
pregnant women who need the bathroom to get off. Finally they let them go
to the bathroom at Kissufim, after a four-hour wait."

They are currently in Karmia and Nitzan, neither of which encampment has
security rooms in the homes or nearby bomb shelters.

Karmia and Nitzan
According to Yossi Ben Baruch, the project director of the building in
Karmia and Nitzan, they are "in the process" of building security rooms in
Karmia. "We are waiting for money from the Ministry of Defense; it is now
being negotiated between the owner of Evelon Technologies, and the Ministry
of Defense." There have already been attempts of infiltrations by
terrorists into Karmia.

Ben Baruch said that there are currently 56 buildings in Karmia, of which
46 have been occupied. The remaining 10 are all 90 square meters. He said
that there are no security rooms being built now at Nitzan and regarding
bomb shelters, "It is in the hands of the Ministry of Defense and other

When he was asked if the caravans were fire-proof, he said, "We build
according to the Institute of Standards," but he would not provide
documentation proving this.

Aaron Farjun, a spokesperson for Bdoloch currently living at Nitzan,
laughed when asked if they're fireproof. "Ask if they're waterproof!
They're substandard. There are all kinds of problems with them. They're
made of a little bit of cement wiped over a piece of netting."

According to Ben Baruch, Evelon is a private company owned by Ofer and Tali

Help for Gush Katif College Students
There is an effort underway to help finance college students from Gush
Katif who will have a more difficult time meeting their tuition and living
demands this year. Since college starts in Israel after the holidays, which
this year end toward the end of October. In most years, college students
work during the summer and early autumn to help pay their tuition and dorm
fees. This year the Gush Katif students were involved in the Disengagement
and, later, in helping their families settle into their temporary quarters,
so they could not work as usual. Anyone interested in more information
concerning this effort should contact Anita Tucker at:

For questions or comments, contact:
Toby Klein Greenwald

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