(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Eleven years after the unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip, nearly 30 percent of Israelis who had to leave their Gush Katif homes have yet to find permanent residences, a survey released Tuesday showed.
Gush Katif was a bloc of 17 Jewish communities in the southern Gaza Strip. Residents there were evicted and the homes razed in 2005, as part of Israel’s disengagement from the area.
Some 50 percent of the evacuees believe they will someday return to their homes, while 70 percent said they would return if Israel regained control of the area, according to the report that surveyed 248 former Gush Katif residents.
Over 60 percent said they have returned to normal life following the disengagement, and 82 percent reported being satisfied with their current community.
The survey, by the Rafi Smith Research Center, also found that 14 percent of the 8,600 Israeli evacuees are unemployed, compared to the low overall unemployment rate of 4.8 percent in Israel.
The study also found that 30 percent still define themselves as Gush Katif residents, while nearly half of the evacuees define themselves as “former” Gush Katif residents.