Tent camps in Tel Aviv and the Negev

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 | 
Forty families evacuated from Atzmona in Gush Katif have erected a tent community, named the ‘City of Faith,’ on a 20-dunam (five-acre) plot of land donated by a resident of Netivot in the Negev. Choosing to reject the temporary housing offered by the Disengagement Authority, their goal is to establish a new home in the Negev with the same vision that enabled them to build up the Gush Katif Settlement Bloc in Gaza. “We want a home with our community,” explained a young mother. “Until then, we will live here. They can break our homes, but not our faith,” she said.

In a park in Tel Aviv, evacuees from the Gaza community of Netzer Hazani also erected a tent camp. As of last evening, about 60 evacuees have moved in. Members of the community went together to pray at the Western Wall the first evening after being evicted. Afterward, they were sent to dormitories of religious schools, with almost no amenities. The Netzer Hazani residents circumvented the Disengagement Authority and appealed directly to the Prime Minister to move together to a kibbutz. The government has approved their request, but it will take three months before housing will be ready for them. “I don’t know where my son will go to kindergarten,” Ilana Schneid told the Jerusalem Post. “Right now we are refugees here in Israel.”

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