Helping Gush evacuees


The constant refrain I heard from the Gush Katif evacuees I met with last week is that the government has essentially abandoned them. While the disengagement from Gaza was carried out with speed and efficiency, the rehabilitation of the evacuees has dragged on and been subject to interminable delays and bureaucratic red tape.

In the breach have stepped a number of other organizations, including Friends of Gush Katif and now Yeshiva University, in partnership with the Jewish National Fund. The students apparently enjoying themselves in the photos were part of a leadership training group at the university that came to Israel for a week this month to help build permanent homes and communal buildings for the evacuees living in the community of Halutza. They also raised $20,000 on their behalf. 
As you can tell from my report, the money is needed.

NITZAN, Israel (JTA) — More than four years after her family was ejected from their home in the Gaza Strip, Karen Sarfaty lives with her husband and four of their children in a small pre-fab house in this small town located about midway between the southern Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod.

Neither she nor her husband have found adequate employment. The compensation she received from the government is running out. Her daughter is only now beginning to overcome the trauma of their forced removal from Gaza. And while the lots allocated to them to build permanent houses are nearly ready, Sarfati says she lacks the money for construction.

"I have a lot of anger inside of me," Sarfaty told JTA. "If [the evacuation] had to be, then it had to be. But at least if it had to be, it should have been done the right way."

Read the full story here.

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