Olmert plans new Gush Katif in Negev

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
A committee headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will tour the Lahish community area in the northeastern part of the Negev next week and will announce a government plan to construct a new block of communities in the area which will absorb many of the families who were evacuated from Gush Katif in Gaza in August 2005.

According to the plan by the Ministerial Disengagement Committee, the new block will include seven communities, some of them new and some already existing. The communities are Amazia, a moshav which already absorbed 100 families from Moshav Kativ; Moshav Shekef which currently houses 50 families; the community of Haruv near the security fence; Givat Hazan, which will house 140 evacuees from Neve Dekalim; Mirsham, which will absorb evacuees from Kfar Darom and Tel Katifa; Shomriah, which will absorb evacuees from Atzmona and Kfar Darom; and Karmit, which will be the largest community and will house 3,000 families.

During the tour of the proposed area, the prime minister and the other cabinet ministers will meet evacuee representatives to hear their thoughts and grievances about the proposed plan.

Sources within the Prime Minister’s Office say that the new settlement bloc will not resemble the original Gush Katif, in contrast to the Nizanim area. The plan is to construct a big community of 3,000 families dedicated mostly to the families who were evacuated from Kfar Darom.

The first stage of construction will include building for 600 to 1,000 families, and the second stage will be an expansion of the community to encompass more than 3,000 families.

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