Israel Resource Review 19th September, 2005


State of Gush Katif, Northern Sinai and Northern Shomron Communities:
Evacuee Update 2
Toby Klein-Greenwald


On September 18 it was announced that more than 30 families from Homesh, northern Shomron, would be moving to temporary quarters at Yad Hana, a communist kibbutz. According to Menora Hazani, a community activist and acclaimed documentary filmmaker from Homesh currently living in Shavei Shomron, along with seven other families, the number is closer to 15. She says there were 35 non-religious families in Homesh to begin with and another 27 religious families. According to Israel radio, in return for accepting the families from Homesh, the government of Israel will forgive most of the kibbutz debts, that are estimated at 4.5 million shekels. 15 other families from Homesh are scattered in caravans or hotels. Hazani says, "I don't know where we will be long term but we want it to be in the Shomron."

They have neither requested nor been offered any help from Minhelet Sela, who have initiated discussions with them about receiving compensation, but not about any long term housing solutions. First the Homesh people went to Elkana, where they stayed for two weeks at the expense of Elkana; and Shavei Shomron is also hosting them "our of good will". They possessions are packed in containers that they cannot get to. Hazani has been documenting everything for a new film depicting the relations between the religious and non-religious of Homesh leading up to the disengagement, which were "full of love, but also arguments". Channel 10 has expressed an interest in it but she will need private funding to complete it.

IDF Bulldozes Synagogue

Hazani also reported a little known fact that the residents of Homesh tried, without success, to get out to the media: On the same day that the Palestinians were burning synagogues in Gush Katif, IDF bulldozers destroyed the synagogue in Homesh. "They must have done it on their own," says Hazani, "since the government had decided otherwise."

More "Compensation"?

All of the news outlets in Israel today (September 19) were abuzz with the fact that the Knesset Finance Committee approved an additional 1.5 billion shekels in "compensation" for the Jews who have been expelled from Gaza and the Shomron. The terms used ("massive", "zorem" [flowing] funds", etc.) gave the impression that these were new funds based on new demands. In fact, most of these were the same funds that had been approved by the High Court of Justice (after pro-bono attorneys proved that the government was offering too little), but that were threatened to be held back from the expelled if they did not leave by August 15 of their own accord. In fact, about 400 million of this amount will not go to the expelled, but to the various government offices who carried out the disengagement, such as Defense. Another 300 million will be used to help struggling business that have had to start over.

In an attempt to vilify the Gush Katif settlers, Basi is quoted in today's Haaretz (September 19) as saying, "We promised the Gaza evacuees that we would maintain the life styles to which they were accustomed. Buying them seaside villas in Bat Yam is out of the question, so the next best thing is buying them half a dunam in Ashkelon." This, in spite of the fact that the residents of the Katif settlements have never asked for 'seaside villas in Bat Yam', but have told every journalist who was willing to listen, "We just want to stay together as communities." Meanwhile, they are asking for reasonable temporary dwellings where they can try to put their lives together again.

The Maariv site, NRG, reported that the people from Gush Katif will each receive "hundreds of thousands of shekels" for the years they've been there. In fact, each person from Gush Katif is slated to receive NIS 4,800 for every year he lived there (though the home-owners will receive nothing for their land or auxiliary elements, or for anything inside that upgraded the home). However, a young person who was born and raised in Gush Katif and got married after the cutoff date, to another girl in Gush Katif, and who together made a new home in Gush Katif, would receive nothing.

The same news source reported that the building in Ashkelon, meant to be the temporary home of 60 families from Kfar Darom, will cost 39 million shekels. What is not included in the article is that, according to Asher Mivtzari, spokesperson for Kfar Darom, the building is meant to also house all the community's schools, kindergartens, yeshivot, community center and other community entities. NRG also quotes updates from Minhelet Sela that describe premises such as crowded and bare yeshiva dormitories as "guest houses".


The director of the PM's office, Ilan Cohen, reportedly met with people from Netzarim today, for the first time, in an attempt to find a temporary housing solution for them, as they are currently living in Ariel College. No spokesperson from Netzarim could be reached for comment.

Comic Relief: Ministry of Social Services: "Toss it"

Following the dissemination of the longer report submitted by this reporter, "The State of the Communities of Gush Katif and Northern Sinai", I received a phone call from Gilat Hayun, secretary to Ministry spokesman Nahum Ido. She asked why they had been faxed the report, and said that Ido had told her, "There is nothing I can do with it. Toss it." I explained that perhaps someone thought that the Ministry of Social Services would have some interest in the situation of the evacuees. After I rejected her offer to send it to the "research section", she agreed to pass it on to the director of the ministry.

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Palestinian Authority Officer Confirms:
Serious Weapons Smuggled Into Gaza Strip
Danny Shalom and Hagai Huberman
Correspondents, Hatzofeh

September 19th, 2005

The lack of control demonstrated by Egyptian forces on Philadelphi Road continued yesterday:

Despite official promises that they had closed all the crossings between the two parts of Rafah, yesterday again Palestinians from the Gaza Strip continued to cross and the flow between Sinai and Palestinian Rafah did not stop.

The spokesman for Palestinian National Security Service, Adnan Barbach, promised that all the breaches on the border were blocked. He also said that more than 2,000 of his security forces were deployed along the road.

The Hatzofe military correspondent noted that yesterday the Egyptians and Palestinians discussed the security of the crossings, but for every place that was closed, the Palestinians opened three more. Yesterday Hamas even went further and said that within a short time there will be no wall between the two parts of Rafah.

Over the last week, since responsibility was transferred to the Egyptians, Palestinians, and probably the terror organizations as well, managed to smuggle hundreds of tons of equipments from Sinai to Rafah.

It is not unthinkable that all the equipment that had been waiting on the Egyptian side, was transferred in the middle of the night into the Gaza Strip.

"In recent days, weapons were also smuggled via the border in Rafah," confirmed the Commander of the National Security Service in the southern Gaza Strip, Col. Jamal Kaid, yesterday, in a report published in the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, which is published in East Jerusalem.

Kaid said, that in addition to weapons, drugs and food were smuggled. "This situation," added the Palestinian officer, "is a real danger and could cause matters to go out of control."

Col. Kaid said that the Palestinian security forces would take control of the border area within 48 to 72 hours. [.]

Another senior Palestinian official, quoted anonymously in Al-Quds, said that those with Gazan ID cards would be able to cross immediately, while those without papers, such as refugees and uprooted people, will be able to cross after an arrangement is made. Reports from the field indicate that Egyptian security forces have begun to strictly examine the ID cards of those crossing before giving them permission to cross at the Salah-a-Din opening, the last breach remaining open. [.]

The quantity of automatic weapons in the hands of the terror organizations was evident yesterday during the Hamas rally, the largest held in recent years: thousands of masked men held up their weapons, which included automatic weapons, anti-tank weapons and Kassam rockets, at the rally held to strengthen the terror organization's status prior to Palestinian Authority elections. Tens of thousands of Palestinians cheered them and swore that the liberation of the rest of the "occupied territories" was already on the way.

Meanwhile, yesterday Palestinian officials responded angrily to Israeli plans to set up a security zone in the northern Gaza Strip. The Palestinians are concerned that the security zone will be inside the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that the Israeli proposal speaks of a security zone in Israeli territory.

The decision by the Israeli government to set up a security zone in the northern Gaza Strip, which will be about 70 kilometers long and 150 meters wide at least, aroused angry responses among landowners and Palestinian organizations . . . Up to now Israel has not taken any steps to take over the land meant for the security zone and nothing has been done except to put up a cement wall along the border.

Hamas Iz a Din al-Kassam Brigades threatened to begin a war to the death against Israeli soldiers if they try to take land. Islamic Jihad Brigades warned Israel about stealing Palestinian land. One Islamic Jihad leader, Khaled al-Batash, told an Al-Ayyam correspondent that Islamic Jihad sees the plan to set up a security zone in the northern Gaza Strip as a new assault on "Palestinian lands just liberated from Israeli occupation" . . .

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