Yamit evacuee in Gaza prefers PA rule (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF 02/03/05)
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Avi Farhan says he would rather live in his Elei Sinai home under
Palestinian rule than agree to move out of the Gaza Strip as demanded
by the government´s disengagement plan.
It´s the second time the 58-year-old is facing a forced evacuation.
In 1982, he was among those forcibly removed from the Sinai community
of Yamit under the terms of a peace deal with Egypt.
At the time he thought of setting up a refugee camp near the Erez
crossing until he could be returned to Yamit, where he had lived for
seven years. Instead he was persuaded by a representative of Ariel
Sharon to put his energies into creating the seaside community of
Now he´s had enough of moving. He will leave only if a national
referendum is held with results proving the majority of the voters
Otherwise, Farhan told the Post, "if the government of Israel that
pushed me out of Yamit is giving up on me, then I am giving up on the
"There is no reason for Gaza to be Judenrein," he added.
Israelis live all over the world, in Canada and America, so why can´t
he live in a Palestinian area, Farhan asked.
A government source dismissed Farhan´s idea as a gimmick to emphasize
the extent to which some settlers were determined to stay in their
Gaza under Palestinian rule is not America or Canada, as Israel does
not have full diplomatic relations with it, said the source. The
government was moving them because it did not believe it was safe for
them to stay in such a situation, said the source.
"If it were an orderly country that would be one thing, but how can
he stay there with the kind of incitement that goes on," the source
Farhan said he wasn´t scared to remain. "They do not kill Israelis in
other places in the world, so why would they do it here?" he asked.
Farhan said the answer that remaining was dangerous was only
indicative of why disengagement was problematic. Leaving Gaza,
whether unilaterally or within the context of an agreement, made
sense only if it restored peaceful relations, he said.
"If there is peace, there is no reason why Jews should leave Gaza,"
Instead of evacuating the Jewish residents the government should be
working on an agreement with the Palestinians that would allow them
to live in the area, Farhan said. It´s possible that they could even
be part of a population exchange or territorial exchange, where a
number of Palestinians could remain where they were but still be
bound to the Palestinian government even though they technically
lived in Israel, while Israelis could remain in their homes in
Palestinian areas while still being bound to the Israeli government.
Worst case scenario, he said, he would simply remain as an Israeli
living under Palestinian rule.
The government source said that it was legally problematic for
Israelis to live under Palestinian rule in Gaza. "I do not believe
that when you are in a state of war that the government can allow its
people to remain," said the source.
Eran Sternberg, a spokesman for Gush Katif, said that Farhan was in
the extreme minority when it came to this idea and that most people
were fighting to keep the area within Israeli control. (© 1995-2005,
The Jerusalem Post 02/03/05)
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