Remembering Ten Years Since the Disengagement

Arutz Sheva spoke this week with two activists as Israel marks ten years since the implementation of the Disengagement. 

"It's hard to believe ten years have passed since the expulsion from Gush Katif," Dror Va'ananu, the International Coordinator of the Gush Katif Committe, said. "We the former Gush Katif residents went through so many challenges."

"First of all the government was not prepared with appropriate solutions for the people of Gush Katif…it took us many many years to go into temporary sites, and only after six, seven years, the first families started moving into permanent homes."

According to Va'ananu, the feeling of anger and resentment among Gush Katif residents has subsided somewhat in the past ten years.

"As long as people were in temporary housing, they still felt in many ways disengaged, like refugees in their homes." But once they moved into permanent housing, "they feel much more relaxed, their anger about what happened is less."

But "people's longing for Gush Katif is more significant," Va'ananu noted "because now they realize how terrible this disengagement was."

Laurence Baziz of the Gush Katif Heritage Center spoke about the center's mission to tell the story of the communities of Gush Katif, as well as portray Gush Katif as something greater than the communities that were. 

"Gush Katif is also a spirit, it's a way of thinking, is a way of behaving toward the State of Israel," Baziz stressed. 

The Gush Katif Heritage center covers the entire history of the area from building to the expulsion, and continues the story "with the establishment of the new communities," Baziz explained. 

For Va'ananu the biggest challenge that remains are the 25% of Gush Katif families who still do not have permanent housing, making it "impossible for them to restart their lives."

"There are lot of things beyond the homes and business that have to be rebuilt – that sense of belonging, belonging to the State, to the Israeli society, and this is also what we are trying to do," Baziz concluded. 


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