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Sit-In Strike Begins in Jerusalem

By Hillel Fendel Arutz Sheva November 29, 2005

A sit-in strike is being held outside the government complex, unlimited in
time, to demand solutions for the socio-economic problems of the Gush Katif
expellees.

Tzvika Slonim of Kedumim, a veteran of large-scale public protests against
left-wing government policies, has organized this one as well. “It took us ten
days to get a permit for the protest, but now we have started,” he told
Arutz-7. “We are protesting against the closed-heartedness of the Prime Minister
and the government ministers, who knew very well how to uproot the residents
of Gush Katif and northern Shomron, but are not taking proper care of them
now, more than three months later, when we see that the situation is
catastrophic.”

“As a long-time family and communal social worker,” Slonim said, “I can say
clearly that this is going to be an open wound for the next 3-10 years. So
many people live in very difficult conditions, and their hotel rooms have
become like jails for them. Many children are not set up in schools, many are
showing signs of distress and disturbances – though they never had a trace of
this in the past – and there are families and couples that are breaking apart.
The difficulties are tremendous. I’m telling you, this will be a great stain
on Israeli society, if it is not taken care of immediately, and that’s what
we’re demanding.”

“True, the government is planning [communities] and the like, but that’s for
three years from now. For now, they should be in places where they can live
like people, not in tiny places where they can’t fit in their table and
chairs. There must be a framework of social workers who can help the dozens of
children who are in real distress and who aren’t in schools because they have
been torn away from their communities… People don’t know where their
belongings are – or if they do, when they go to get them, they have to pay… or
they find them destroyed.”

“We’re also calling upon the public, and especially the liberal sector –
even if they favored the disengagement, I’m sure their heart is open to their
brothers’ plight; why haven’t we heard from them in any way – a play or a song
or something depicting the hardships they face?”

Slonim said that in order to be considered an official sit-in striker, one
must take part in the protest for three days. “But even those who can’t
remain for that long, are invited to come and visit, even if just for an hour or
two.”

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