Hundreds of Israelis forcibly removed from Gaza two years ago marched on Thursday toward the northern part of the Hamas-controlled coastal strip with the intent of rebuilding one of their 21 uprooted communities.
The group gathered at a meeting point in southern Israel together with many more Israelis who never lived in Gaza but support settlers' cause before setting off. But they didn't get very far before a human wall of Border Police officers stopped the procession.
Several Knesset members took part in the march. They and other leaders of the community pleaded with police officials to let the displaced Israelis at least visit the ruins of the former settlement of Nissanit, though a number of participants said the overall goal was to begin rebuilding the town.
A former resident of northern Gaza told Israel National News that there was simply no reason for the government to not allow Israelis to again take up residence in the area.
“Northern Gaza was never populated by Arabs, and even now, the army is deployed there - because it is from there that the terrorists fire Kassams at the Negev and Ashkelon. Keeping this area Jewish is the charge of the hour,” said Avi Farhan, who was also evacuated in 1982 from his home in the Sinai town of Yamit. “The infrastructures are there, and we want to rebuild our homes!”