Today, they released their findings in a scathing, nearly 500 page report.
"Five years following the evacuation and a very grim picture emerges on the ground," the report concluded. "Most of the evacuees still reside in temporary trailer parks; the construction of most of the permanent residential buildings has yet to commence; the vast majority of the public buildings have yet to be built; the unemployment rate among the evacuees is double that of the general public; some of the evacuees' financial state is dire and there are those who are in need of welfare support; there are those who still hold legal battles opposite the State regarding the amount of compensation."The JPost reports:
The committee has therefore reached the conclusion that "the rehabilitation of the evacuees is far from complete." (ynetnews)
The findings showed that the government had expected most evacuees to take compensation and was caught out when 85 percent of the evacuees elected to relocate as a community. However the inquiry found that the government was inadequately prepared to resettle whole communities, resulting in mishandling of the evacuees.The most telling comment of all came from Professor Yedidya Stern, who at a press conference organized by the comittee members themselves, said: "The Disengagement caused the greatest violation of Human Rights in the history of the State of Israel. We are speaking of approximately 9,000 people, and the violation was multi-dimensional, and deep. Those evacuated from their homes, are the "salt of the land" and the committee members are impressed that they are "true pioneers." (ynet, Hebrew)
About 1700 families, from 21 different settlements, were evacuated from the Gush Katif settlements as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005.
The report went on to say that the settlers had subsequently "become refugees in their own country" and "faced major bureaucratic hurdles" in rebuilding their lives.
Five years after the evacuation, unemployment levels among the former settlers were found to be twice the national level, and many were still living in temporary accommodation. Public buildings have not been erected for their use, despite the fact that many evacuees have now moved to their final destinations.
On the first year anniversary of the Disengagement, publicist Yair Lapid refused to apologize to those evicted from their homes. He even had the gall to state that reason for the Disengagement was the pioneers, themselves. (ynet)
It did not happen despite of the settlers, but because of them.And so, 5 years later, as they live as refugees in caravan shacks, after thousands of Qassam rockets from Gaza's Hamastan have killed and wounded dozens of Israelis, a year and a half after the Cast-Lead operation, 4 years since Gilad Shalit was kidnapped to Gaza, 2 weeks after the Flotilla as the world comes to pay homage to Hamas, and a few hours since the government's report on Israel's greatest Human Right's failure of all time, maybe its time for an arrogant Yair Lapid to apologize?
It had nothing to do with the Palestinians, demography, the desire to make peace, the relative feebleness of the IDF, or any other explanation that was given. There was a totally different motivation behind the disengagement.
The Israelis merely felt that the settlers should be taught a lesson in humility and perhaps in democracy too. The Gaza Strip was not chosen by accident either.
It is a region devoid of any major religious importance, its Jewish inhabitants were more national-religious that ultra-Orthodox fanatics, and Israel can rid itself of it without causing a rift between the state and 250,000 of its residents.
I'm not holding my breath.
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