Gaza evacuees won't be evicted

Rooms in Jerusalem and Ashkelon hotels were secured only until end of October.

evacuees in hotel 248 88 (photo credit: Courtesy [file])
evacuees in hotel 248 88
(photo credit: Courtesy [file])
The Disengagement Authority agreed Monday to allow 450 Gaza evacuee families to remain in hotels, mainly in Jerusalem and Ashkelon, until an interim housing solution is available for them. These families have been living in the hotels with government assistance since their evacuation from Gaza in August. Knowing that the government had secured their rooms only until the end of October, evacuees feared they would be evicted on Monday. But on Monday, the authority agreed to allow them to stay until their housing solutions had been secured. Many of the 450 families in the hotels are awaiting the completion of modular housing in places such as Nitzan or other alternative interim housing solutions on the part of the government. Other families are in negotiation for an interim solution, said authority spokesman Haim Altman. He added that the authority's decision would be discussed by the special ministerial committee for disengagement at its next meeting. He did not have a date for that meeting. Some 200 of the families are likely to leave within the next couple of weeks when the government completes construction of their modular homes or makes available other solutions, said Altman. About 60 families from Kfar Darom, for example, are waiting to move into an apartment building in Ashkelon. More than 450 families initially housed in the hotels have already left. Few of the 1,700 families from Gaza and the four northern Samaria communities evacuated this summer are in permanent homes. Most are living in some form of temporary housing, including modular homes and tents, until they can build their new homes. It is unclear to those evacuees in hotels how much of their bill will be paid for by the government and how much will come out of the compensation funds awarded to them by the government. As of mid-September, the government has been charging families - without an agreement as to where their interim homes will be - NIS 150 a night. That sum was increased to NIS 300 as of October 6. But many families said they did not know if they were being charged or not. Altman said that the issue of hotel payments and the exact sums were worked out as part of the housing agreements they came to with the authority.