Former Gaza farmers demand compensation

Monday, July 16, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Nearly two years after they were forcibly uprooted from thriving communities in the Gaza Strip, hundreds of Israeli farmers have yet to receive the land compensation promised to them by the government.

On Sunday, the dispossessed farmers launched a week-long protest opposite the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem.

Prior to the 2005 “disengagement,” more than 300 farms and agricultural businesses operated in and around the Katif Bloc of Jewish communities in southern Gaza, providing a disproportionate percentage of the nation's produce.

When the government of former prime minister Ariel Sharon formulated its plan to evacuate all Jews from Gaza, the farmers were promised land inside sovereign Israel where they could start over. But only a small handful of the farmers ever received their compensation.

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