The Expulsion From Gush Katif

Gush Katif Resource to educate and enlighten

Archive for December, 2008

Life-protecting Sewers for Gush Katif Expellees

Posted by emmalazarus on December 31, 2008

By Sara Layah Shomron

Our family lives at the Nitzan caravilla site, halfway between Ashkelon and Ashdod. NO bomb shelters at this Nitzan or any temporary caravilla site. So when the Red Alert siren sounds of incoming rocket(s) – we quickly lay down on the floor and cover our heads as though in an open field (even one of our dogs initially cooperated as he put his paws over his ears) while others squeeze large families under their dining table, or behind a sofa and yet others simply ignore the warning and sit/walk outside.

“Bomb shelters” are being brought in today. One neighborhood already has. It’s comprised of three HUGE sewer pipes about 6ft tall and 12-15 ft long, put together to create one shelter in which one can stand and walk. On each end there’s a cement block covering most of the opening so one is protected from shrapnel. It’s like a hamster’s toy – only BIGGER. Actually my Wisconsin elementary school playground had a couple of these. Kids would squeeze inside during school-time recesses to keep warm from the freezing winter temperatures.
In our cul-de-sac today there was a conversation calmly discussing where to put the concrete sewage pipes in our parking lot. People don’t seem to be panicking (I translate and paraphrase):

Not in front of my house. It will destroy our breeze and view


I have a measuring tape – here- take an end

Put it in front of my house

No put it over there- it’s more in the middle
The government will get us all inside these and seal them closed

We’ve been expelled from our houses, in these caravillas, and now we’re supposed to go into sewers? What’s happening to us?
Does anybody know if these are used?
Have you guys seen the other neighborhood where kids are drawing on them? We should have a contest

You know we’ll have to sleep in street clothes
A neighbor sent their pre-teen daughter to request the sewage pipes be put by her house –they can’t make it in 30 seconds otherwise. And so went the conversation.
Several hours later three HUGE sewer pipes were trucked into our neighborhood. One of the neighbors made it clear to the army officer in charge that they wanted the pipes placed somewhere other than immediately in front of their caravilla. A compromise was reached with the sewage pipes placed a further distance in front of their caravilla. After all, we wouldn’t want the sewage pipes to dislodge, roll, and smash into a caravilla.

 

Postscript: The siren sounded just a short while ago in the late evening hours. My husband, on the computer wearing earphones, hadn’t heard. Suddenly he noticed me and the girls lying on the floor with our hands protecting our heads. “What are you doing? I didn’t hear a siren – outside to the sewers” said he. We had totally forgotten and made haste. Only four other neighborhood families joined us. We were about to return to our caravillas when we felt another BOOM though heard no siren. Methinks from now on we’ll sleep in our street clothes with a warm jacket in easy reach.
“Even miles away you can be a part of us and together we will write a new page in the history of e Jewish people and the Land of Israel,” Katif Fund http://www.katifund.org/

In the US: Make checks payable to

FRIENDS OF GUSH KATIF,
Friends of Gush Katif (501 (c)(3))
PO Box 1184
Teaneck, NJ 07666

In Israel:

Gush Katif Committee
Ahuzat Etrog
P.O.B 450
Israel, 79411

Posted in Expulsion, Gush Katif, israel, Israeli politics, Middle East | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Out of the Frying Pan – Into the Fire

Posted by emmalazarus on December 30, 2008

By Shifra Shomron

There was a siren. It was loud and alarming and we didn’t know what to do – we had never heard a siren before and anyways, there was nowhere to run. You see, in Gush Katif we had always been warned after the mortars had fallen, not before though at least there our houses were solid cement and cinderblock. In fact, shortly before Disengagement, the Government had even finished reinforcing our ceilings and then we really felt safe in our house from mortars.

But that was then, and now as I heard the siren I did the only thing I could: I dived off my bed (it was nighttime and I was in pajamas) and onto the floor and covered my head with my hands. All the time there was one thought running through my head: ‘this is absurd’. And then the siren stops its wailing, and after a few seconds I heard a muffled BOOM and realized that Ashkelon or Ashdod must have gotten hit. And I prayed that everyone was safe, and knew that thank G-d our Caravilla was still standing. As the missile had fallen, I could return to bed and spend the rest of the night hearing planes flying overhead and wondering if they were indeed planes or missiles.

In short, I was up all night. At one point I turned the lights on and tried knitting to make myself drowsy. It did – but I still couldn’t sleep.

You’d think that after all the years in Gush Katif we’d be used to being bombed. But the bombs weren’t so strong then, and we didn’t feel so defenseless. The Caravillas are plaster, and they are definitely in range. When they were put down the government saved costs and didn’t build them with security rooms, as they’re obliged to do by law to any structure in Israel, by the loophole that these were “temporary” structures.

So now the army is establishing a five meter long cement tube sort of thing in each cul-de-sac. You can stand in them. They won’t protect you from a direct hit, though. We can all run there each time we hear a siren. God, I wish I had the young child’s attitude; they’re drawing on the walls in there with chalk and enjoying the echo.




Shifra Shomron is the author of the historic novel, Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim, (Mazo Publishers). “Travel beyond time and beyond location – into my Gush Katif”
Visit Shifra’s website: http://www.geocities.com/nevedekalim

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Missing Gush Katif Sefer Torah Sold on E-Bay

Posted by naomigrossman on December 23, 2008

The Jerusalem Post reports that a sefer Torah that disappeared from Neve Dekalim under mysterious circumstances during the Disengagement has been sold on e-bay. The scroll was written in Germany and survived the ravages of the Holocaust. It was kept in the shul at the Naot Katif school in Neve Dekalim, where it remained until the expulsion. The sefer Torah was sold on e-bay for $1,500. No details of the seller’s identity are given, apart from the user name “tlv-vintage.”

To read the article, click here.

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Cholot Chalutza Provides New Home for Expellees

Posted by naomigrossman on December 11, 2008

Not all is doom and gloom for the former residents of Gush Katif living in the Chalutza Desert. A new neighborhood for the expellees has been established, hopefully providing a permanent home and a new sense of community. Among the first to benefit are the children.

To read INN’s description of Cholot Chalutza and listen to a radio broadcast about it, click here.

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Life Goes on in Nitzan

Posted by naomigrossman on December 11, 2008

Larry Gordon, a writer for the Five Towns Jewish Times, describes life in Nitzan, and how two of its residents have not been broken by their experiences. He also discusses how the Jewish government appears to view the former residents of Gush Katif.

To read the article, click here.

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