Gaza Disengagement evictees protest in Nitzan
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov

Forgotten victims of social protests?

Six years after disengagement and former residents of Nisanit settlement are still waiting for solutions to financial, residential woes

It has been three weeks since the protest encampment was erected at the entrance to the Nitzan caravilla site. The Gush Katif disengagement evictees, former residents of Nisanit are demonstrating against their current situation and trying to integrate into the current waves of public wrath.


Yet in spite of the Tnufa Administration's declarations regarding the eviction of the encampment, the protest continues.



Around 100 families, who were evicted from their homes six years ago, reside on the encampment. Most of them still have no permanent housing solution.


The compensation fee they received has mostly been used for living expenses and to purchase land but the families are complaining they have little or nothing left to build a home.

The Nitzan protest encampment (Photo: Tsafrir Abayov) (Photo: Tsafrir Abayov)
The Nitzan protest encampment (Photo: Tsafrir Abayov)

Many of the families are in debt and the public empathy with the cost of living and social protests has sidelined their cause.


Ignored and forgotten

"We find it troubling that the president invites members of the Tel Aviv encampment to meet with him, the prime minister establishes a ministerial committee to deal with the issue while we are ignored and forgotten," the residents claimed.


The protest started following a recent government announcement which joyfully pronounced "the end of the activities of the Tnufa Administration under the Prime Minister's Office as well the termination of the compensation claims".


The Tnufa Administration, formally the SELA Administration, was created by the government to assist the settlers from all areas evicted during the Gaza disengagement.


Yet according to former Nisanit residents, the government has neglected to include them in the arrangement and they will soon be expected to start paying rent for their transient accommodations. "We, who were hurt in the most critical way and thrown out of our homes, are not invited to meetings," one resident said.


"We received a letter titled 'termination of compensation claims' with its contents praising everybody involved in the process," community leaders Dror Tanami and Aviel Eliaz noted.


"Only the pressure groups suckling at the government teat received their lustful share while abandoning weaker populations. We are sorry for the community leaders who were led astray and failed to notice they were surrounded by a web of deceit."


Hundreds of families at the caravilla site have complained about the living conditions. Residents tell of loans, teens that have lost their way becoming drug addicts and school dropouts.  


Smadi Ben-Hayoun, a single mother of five children, miscarried her sixth baby during the disengagement. She then wandered from hotel to hotel until her arrival at Nitzan where she has been renting a caravilla for years.


"I went to the exceptions committee and attended many hearings. I only got the caravilla after a lengthy struggle, I have lots of debts and foreclosure orders and can barely make it from day to day," she told Ynet.


Yonatan Maorzada (41), a father of four, can barely support his family. He has already given up on his dream to build a home. "I purchased land in the Ashkelon golf village and decided to move my caravilla there.


"That would seem to be the best solution even though it is no simple task to live in a caravilla, but then the Ashkelon municipality intervened and opposed the move. Here it's possible but then I need to sell my land, give back the grant and purchase land here, and that I just can’t afford to do."


Government response?

According to Maorzada "none of the responsible authorities has tried to help me. It's all a constant battle. Now everything is stuck and I'm still here. I had a nice little house in Nisanit and that's all I want, no more no less."


The Tnufa Administration offered the following response to the residents' claims: "We are happy to say that the Nisanit evictees told the administration that they are taking down the encampment they erected at the beginning of the week following a meeting held between the heads of Tnufa And community leaders, including Nisanit representatives.


"The main points of the agreement signed between the State and the evictee leaders, an agreement that brings the evictee claims which total NIS 300 million ($85 million) to a close.


"Moreover, solutions meant to assist the Nisanit residents in re-constructing their homes on permanent plots were also presented.


"Tnufa Administration chiefs will, over the next few weeks, continue to accompany the Nisanit residents. The evictees thanked the administration for its efforts and said that they would dismantle the new encampment near Nitzan."



פרסום ראשון: 08.16.11, 18:48
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