Nearly two years since they were forcibly uprooted from thriving communities, more than 85 percent of Gaza's former Jewish residents are still living in temporary housing.
Speaking on Wednesday at a special Knesset session, Gaza evacuee leader Lior Kalfa asked, “Where is the shame? The permanent solutions are not here, to the disgrace of the government, and the princes of civil rights say nary a word.”
At the time of the “disengagement” from Gaza, the government of former prime minister Ariel Sharon promised to provide generous compensation to all the evacuees and to fast-track the construction of new communities and permanent housing within sovereign Israel.
Most of those promised have not been met, creating dire financial and social problems for most of the 8,000 evacuees.
Addressing Wednesday's Knesset session, Likud lawmaker Yuri Edelstein noted that Israel “spent millions on a cursed campaign that promised a solution for every resident. Is this considered a solution for every resident?!”
Senior Labor Party lawmaker Eitan Cabel emphasized that he still supports the decision to have left Gaza, but said he is now “totally ashamed” over the treatment of the evacuees.
“They were sent there by all Israeli governments, including Labor... We must relate to them not by political orientation, but as people,” said Cabel.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was Sharon's deputy at the time of the pullout, also attended the Knesset session, where he insisted the government has gone to great lengths to care for the uprooted settlers, and accused those who were complaining over the evacuees homeless condition as being the real problem.