Police Back on the Beat Israel Television’s Channel Two reported this morning that police in the south of Israel have made a number of drug and other arrests, since these were neglected during the Disengagement. Mickey Rosenfeld, a police spokesperson, confirmed that, “The situation is at the moment that the police force in general has freed itself from the disengagement that was carried out with ‘a great deal of success’ and now they’re back doing the real work – fighting crime and internal criminal activity, and this is our main goal. Now we’re back working 100% on fighting crime.” He could not put an exact number on the large amount of marijuana that was smuggled into the country during the days following the disengagement when the borders between Gaza and Egypt were open.
Gush Katif Resident Released from Prison (The author of the report has the name of the prisoner’s identity.) A young man, father of several children and resident of Gush Katif, who, witnesses say, was standing on a street corner protesting Sharon’s policies in February, 2005, was recently released after seven months in prison. He is being charged with “Attempt to harm the infrastructure of the state”. His trial is due to begin soon.
High Holidays There is a large grassroots effort underway to find either empty homes or families willing to host Gush Katif people who are still in hotels, for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succot, who are looking for a more home-like atmosphere for the holidays.
Update on Morag The community of Morag, who are now in their seventh week in the dorm shacks of the Ulpana in Ofra, hope to move, after Rosh Hashana, to caravans in Tene-Omarim, a settlement in the southern Hebron hills. The future is an unknown. There are 13 families left in the Ulpana; the other 22 were “scattered”.
Update on Moshav Katif According to a source from Moshav Katif, that is now in its seventh week of living in dorm rooms at the Ulpana in Kfar Pines, there is still no temporary solution in sight.
Chaim Altman, spokesperson for the Disengagement Authority, defines solutions as “immediate”, “temporary” and “long term”. Almost no long term solutions will be ready for the next few years; those people who have “temporary” solutions consider themselves luck. The majority of the evacuees from Gush Katif are still living in the make-shift “immediate” conditions.
Moshav Katif was offered Eivin in the Negev, a three-month solution, and according to Katif sources it was nixed by Ariel Sharon and by the Jewish Agency. At the time of the submission of this report, clarifications had not yet been received from the Prime Minister’s office or from the Jewish Agency spokespeople. (Reminder: Eivin is a student community that was established for new immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia who attend Sapir College. The solution would have been that the students, who would be temporarily displaced, would receive upgraded new apartments in Sderot to live in during those three months, and an additional scholarship. Ezra Heidu, Moshav Katif spokesman, said at the time, “The Jewish Agency is ruining the plan.”)
The Moshav Katif people say they have also been offered caravans in Yad Binyamin but someone else is first in line, and in “Shchuna Daled” in Beer Sheva, an area that is known to be a center for drugs and other crimes.
According to a Moshav Katif mother, the older kids of the community are becoming increasingly bitter and the younger children are not in school.
The Moshav Katif source says that no one has received a penny in compensation yet because they (the evacuees) refuse to deal with the authorities as individuals, rather, they are demanding a solution as a community. They are also hesitant to sign anything that will give away their assets, their rights, their possibilities for future rebuilding.
Some of the teachers have not received their September salaries that were promised to them by the Department of Education because, like dozens of other high school teachers in Gush Katif, they received their salaries from a Negev municipality (those teachers who taught in high schools), not from the government (which pays primarily for grammar schools) and the Negev municipalities don’t have extra funds so they are not paying teachers who couldn’t teach in September or October.
The families did not expect to still be in temporary quarters so they have no winter clothes. Those are packed away somewhere in containers. It would cost them money to open and empty the containers and there is nowhere to store the contents, anyway, near where they are living.
Each report will try to highlight one service project.
Ruthi Brenner is seeking sponsors for evacuee university students who were unable to work this summer to put themselves through college and may have to forfeit their studies as a result. Brenner says that $5,000 paid directly to the university would cover a full year of college tuition and she would be happy to put sponsors in contact with their “adopted” students. Contact her at: email@example.com or telephone: 972-2-561-1962.