In 1976 Yitzhak Rabin’s government initiated the establishment of Gush Katif.
From 10 original families, Netzer Hazani became an Israeli town in 1977.
For 30 years, thousands of hard-working Israelis made the desert bloom.
Gush Katif grew to 23 communities…until August 15, 2005,
when they became homeless and had to leave their fields behind:
everything in Gush Katif was destroyed.
And today where are they?
Travel the highway from Jerusalem towards Ashkelon
and there is a new sign directing you to Netzer Hazani.
On the left side of the road is a welcome sign to Yesodot, a moshav founded in 1948.
On the right there is a gas station which is closed for the holy Sabbath.
A beautifully landscaped fountain greets visitors;
the sign warns to look, but not to enter.
A blue security gate opens
to the new
Six years after being forced from their homes in Gush Katif,
one house is near completion, while many others are still being held up by red tape.
For many reasons, most home plans are much smaller than the original ones.
The main hall of the community center
is under construction.
This is its new kitchen.
Meanwhile, construction of the synagogue
has been stopped due to lack of money.
Afternoon tea hosted by Anita Tucker in her new home is quite a treat….
well… on the site of their new home.
Today these formerly productive people are still trying to re-establish,
some on the land bought from the religious Moshav Yesodot.
Nahal Sorek, does not look like a river in summer, but if you follow the road
you will find a recycled water pond, which serves as a haven for migrating birds.
The irrigation ditches for the new Netzer Hazani fields are in place
and the fields are being prepared for organic produce and new hot houses.
The infrastructure is ready,
with plans set for the first stage of 130 families to move in by August 2012.
This sign hangs at the entrance of the new Netzer Hazani,
it is a reproduction of one made and hung by their children in Gush Katif.
The sign proclaims a full belief in God.
After the ordeal of the last six years…that is an accomplishment.
Disengagement was supposed to bring peace…land for peace.
Instead, Israel has been bombarded by
thousands and thousands of missiles and rockets from Gaza.
The “tent city” protest which began in Tel Aviv is entering its fourth week
with ‘”building crisis” and “social justice” as its headlines.
Bus loads of people are trying to spread the protest to the “periphery”.
How many think of the 9000 people left homeless by the disengagement?
How many of the tent protesters have even heard of Yamit?
For more information see: www.netzerhazani.org