Monday, October 10, 2005

Expellees Denied Access to Belongings

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Expellees Denied Access to Belongings

Displaced families in Ashkelon hotel
In a report by David Shamah for the English version HaModia Newspaper last week, Mrs. Rena Ackerman, a former resident of Neve Dekalim, related that she and her family, along with the other 599 families from there now staying in hotels in Jerusalem, have been denied free access to their personal belongings stored in the Negev as promised in writing by the Israeli government.  The army is simply not interested in giving them the time to go through their things since it would involve moving containers and making room for families to reorganize their things and select what items they need. 

Most, if not all families had their possessions packed by the army.  Because nearly all heads of their households are now displaced and unemployed as a result of the Disengagement, money for new clothing, shoes, and other various sundrys is tight as savings are dipped into and not a penny of promised compensation has been received yet.
(Continued in full article)

Phone calls to the Prime Minister's office for coordinating ministries led me to the Sela office and their spokesman, Mr. Chaim Altman.  Mr. Altman explained that they cannot have free access to their possessions, even though this is in violation of written agreements allowing it, because they did not cooperate with Sela before being expelled.  He said that when they agree to move into the new homes offered by Sela, they will then be given access to their things at once.

However, when reminded that there are no new homes prepared for them yet, Mr. Altman suddenly claimed that's not Sela's responsibility.  When asked to allow access as a humanitarian gesture similiar to the gestures and aid the American government is giving hurricaine victims, Mr. Altman had no answer.

Crown Hts. Women for the Safety and Integrity of Israel calls on everyone to register a protest with Sela and Mr. Altman.  Their numbers are respectively:  Sela - 011-972-2-5311028 and Mr. Altman - 011-972-5-0728-6852. 

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