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Photo: Yehonatan Tzur
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Aharon Hazut
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Gush Katif evacuees: Still waiting for compensation
Three and a half years after Gaza pullout, commission of inquiry into status of area's former residents finally set to begin work. 'People are paying the price of the disengagement every day,' says head of evacuees' council

Some three and a half years after Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip, the state commission of inquiry tasked with probing the status of Gush Katif evacuees is set to finally start its work.

 

"I have some expectations. I hope we can get to the truth, that the reality of what was done to the evacuees will surface," Aharon Hazut, a former resident of Gan Or, told Ynet.

 

Hazut currently lives in Nitzan, a community in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council. "The most important thing is that the government will find a way to rehabilitate the evacuees and to reintegrate them into normal life," he said Saturday.

 

"Unfortunately, (former Prime Minister Ehud)

Olmert's government failed to deal with the situation, and in fact, did everything it could not to rehabilitate the evacuees. It took 30 years to close the Yamit Administration and only four years to shut down ours."

 

The Yamit Administration was formed in the 1980s and  tasked with assisting the residents evacuated from the Sinai community of Yamit in 1982, after the Israel-Egypt peace treaty was signed.

 

Rinat Ackerman, formally from the Gush Katif community of Neve Dekalim, recounted the evacuation experience: "The State was very committed to implementing the pullout right up to the point when we crossed Kissufim. Once we did that, no once cared about us anymore. They put us up in hotels, told us there was a solution for everyone, but there wasn't.


 

The Ackermans in the caravilla (Archive photo: Shaul Golan) 

 

"They told us we were going to be there for three weeks – we were there for eight months, and we've been paying the price ever since.

 

"It's like life was suspended for a year," said Akerman, who now lives in one of the Lachish Regional Council communities. "They eventually moved us into caravillas, which was less than half the size of our previous house. It was so moldy we couldn’t sleep in it."

 

Unlike Hazut, she has no expectations for the commission, and her skepticism and frustration are perceivable: "We no longer believe in anything. People here have been discussing whether or not to go (to the committee meetings), but as I see it, many just don't have faith in it.

 

"So far, we have only gotten a portion of the compensation promised and to this day I'm being asked to produces documentation that we lived in Gush Katif… Sitting there and listening to (the commission) members make excuses won't do anything to contribute to my current life. I just hope someone is held accountable."

 

Doron Ben Shlomi, chairman of the Gush Katif Settlers Council, seems to hold the commission to a higher standard: "This commission was formed following the state comptroller's report on the pullout and the realization that the evacuees have been seriously mistreated.

  

"This commission is probing an ongoing failure – people are paying the price for (the disengagement) every day. We expect these to be speedy and efficient.

 

"We try to look ahead, to what still needs to be done," he added. "There are two kind of evacuees now – those who've grown because of it and those who've aged from it. My personal decision was to grow, but I am certainly less naïve."

 


פרסום ראשון: 05.10.09, 08:35
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