Gush Katif Expellees Today
From www.lekarev.org, a daily newsletter from Israel, covering events in Israel, from a religious Zionist perspective. If he could look back, I wonder if Ariel Sharon would do things differently?
Two Years and Four Months Later
The Gush Katif Residents Committee has published its latest report on the state of the families expelled during the Disengagement of 2005. The appalling statistics: 85% of the expellees are still, 28 months later, living in temporary quarters.
8800 people in 1667 families were removed from Gush Katif in August 2005 and put in hotels, tents and dormitory accommodations on Kibbutzim.
Unemployment among the expellees is still high – 23%. While nearly 2,000 people are working, well over 800 are still out of work. Among the latter, 317 – many of whom owned and ran thriving agricultural businesses in Gaza – have despaired of finding work because of their age or their lack of professional training. Some of them never received unemployment or funds to help them adapt, while for the others, these funds have long run out.
The widespread unemployment which continues in many families, has eaten into the compensation monies that were supposed to have paid for permanent housing.
Out of 180 non-agricultural small businesses in Gush Katif, only 80 have returned to operation. Only 50 farmers, out of 400, have received land – and only a small portion of them have actually begun to produce.
The treatment of these 1667 families, forcibly removed from their established homes and communities, is a disgrace and should be an unacceptable embarrassement to the Olmert government. Apparently it’s not since the situation goes on with no appearance of resolution.