Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

17 Elul 5765 - September 21, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Rabbi Ravitz: Government Not Doing Enough Towards the Spiritual Rehabilitation of Former Gaza Residents

By G. Kleiman

Deputy Welfare Minister MK Avrohom Ravitz said on Monday that the government did not do enough for the spiritual needs of the Gush Katif evacuees in their new places of residence.

"Although the government saw to the physical conditions," he said, "in matters of spiritual assistance, such as botei knesses, the evacuees were left empty-handed."

To address the matter Ilan Cohen, the director of the Prime Minister's Office, met with Netzarim evacuees currently staying in Ariel. The Prime Minister's Office views the settlers' show of cooperation as a breakthrough after several months during which they refused to meet with State representatives to discuss housing solutions. At this stage it appears that a settlement will be set up in the Western Negev for former Netzarim residents. Until then they will live in Yevul.

Cohen toured the Eshkol Local Council on Monday, where he met for the first time since the evacuation with the residents of Netzarim and Atzmona. During the course of the meeting the evacuees said that they would like to reside in the Negev on a permanent basis. Cohen told them that 80 percent of the former Gush Katif residents would be relocated to a cluster of settlements to be built in the Central and Western Negev.

Yonatan Bassi, the head of the SELA authority, said SELA is currently handling three large housing areas for the Gaza evacuees along the coast near Nitzanim and Ashkelon: Nitzan, Nitzanim and part of Ashkelon's Golf neighborhood. Nitzan and Golf are within Ashkelon's municipal boundaries, whereas Nitzanim is part of the adjacent Ashkelon Coast Council. He predicts that each of these sites will remain part of their current jurisdictions and will not be gerrymandered to form a new local council. Bassi says that half of Gaza's former Jewish residents—3,500-4,000 people—will be relocated to this area, which is not enough to unite them as a separate local council.

Near Nitzan is the temporary housing site for 450 families living in prefab, single-family homes (caravillas). Although the land belongs to the State and numerous infrastructures have already been installed, the State plans to clear the site within two years. Bassi says a permanent settlement cannot be built there because of its proximity to the railroad tracks.


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