State Orders Israelis Evacuated From Gaza to Close Up Shop in South

Ex-Gush Katif residents living in Nitzan acknowledge that they are operating without business licenses, but accuse the treasury of lacking sensitivity.

Shirly Seidler
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Shirly Seidler

The owners of 20 businesses in a southern Israeli community of former residents of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip were ordered last week to close up shop and vacate the premises within 90 days.

The order, which came in the form of letters issued on behalf of the Finance Ministry by a law firm, accused the business owners of unauthorized trespassing on state land.

The businesses, which include various kiosks, a pizzeria and a hardware store, do not have operating permits. They are run by former residents of Gush Katif who, after being evacuated in Israel’s 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip, moved to Nitzan, a small community adjacent to Israel’s border with Gaza.

Aviel Eliaz, who represents former residents of the Nisanit settlement now living in Nitzan, says the businesses serve a therapeutic as well as a practical purpose; that, in addition to the goods and services they provide, “they give the people who run them with a reason to get up in the morning.”

In a written response to the treasury, the residents slammed what they termed its total lack of sensitivity. “Eight years after the disengagement and a commercial center has still not been built. All that’s needed is goodwill, to talk with the business owners and offer alternate locations for businesses,” their letter said in part.

“They want to put us down,” says Ayala Bargil, 61, who has been living in Nitzan for eight years, since she and her family were evacuated from Ganim, a settlement in northern Samaria, in the West Bank. She insists that she will not close her kiosk and food stall in Nitzan, and notes that she pays municipal tax on the spaces.

“The business owners are upset, because the Finance Ministry isn’t offering an alternative for the businesses, only a unilateral eviction,” says Eliaz, adding, “closing these businesses constitutes a fatal blow in the families’ rehabilitation.

Many of them are in rough financial shape, and without these businesses they will be a burden on society and on the welfare services.”

At the kiosk in Nitzan.Credit: Ilan Assayag
A kiosk in Nitzan.Credit: llan Assayag

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott