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Settlements in Gush Katif
- Bedolah בדולח (lit. Crystal)
- Bene Atzmon בני עצמון
- Gadid גדיד (lit. picking of palm tree fruits)
- Gan Or גן אור (lit. Garden of light)
- Gane Tal גני טל (lit. Gardens of dew)
- K'far Yam כפר ים (lit. Village of sea)
- Kerem Atzmona כרם עצמונה
- Morag מורג (lit. Harvest scythe)
- Neve Dekalim נוה דקלים (lit. Palm tree Oasis)
- Netzer Hazani נצר חזני
- Pe'at Sade פאת שדה (lit. the edge of the field)
- Katif קטיף (lit. harvest, picking of flowers)
- Rafiah Yam רפיח ים
- Shirat ha-Yam שירת הים (lit. Singing of the Sea)
- Selav שליו
- Tel Katifa תל קטיפא
The Gush Katif settlements are concentrated in one block in the south-west edge of the Gaza Strip and are surrounded by fence.
In addition to Gush Katif, there are three Israeli settlements at the north edge of the Gaza Strip (Ele Sinay, Dugit and Nisanit), and two more near its center (Netzarim and Kefar Darom ).
Gush Katif is located in the south edge of the Gaza Strip, along the Mediterranean Sea coast. The main road between Gush Katif and the outside of the Gaza Strip ("proper" Israel) is through the Kissufim junction. The main road which connects Gush Katif with Kfar Darom and Netzarim (known as "Tencher Road") strays from south-to-north.
Gush Katif is located in the Gaza Strip, part of the territories taken over by Israel in the 1967 Six Days War. According to the Geneva Convention, a country should not settle its own population in an "occupied territory", but since the legal status of the "Occupied Territories" is itself disputed, so is the legality of the settlements there. Therefore, the status of the settlements in Gush Katif is internationally disputed. See further discussion in Israeli Settlements - International and Legal Background.
In Israeli public opinion, the settlements in the Gaza Strip, especially Gush Katif, are not unanimously accepted and many have lamented in public the benefit of settling population in the region. Some claim, as reserve soldiers who served in Gaza Strip also testified, that in some settlements only a few houses are occupied. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, referring to that fact, claimed that he does not believe that Nezarim is a "real" settlement (but a "ghost settlement") and stated "If Nezarim is a settlement, I am a Kugellager" (ball-bearing). However, other thinks that Gush Katif settlements are important to Israel's security in order to prevent heavy bombardment of long-range Katyusha rockets on Israeli towns such as Sderot and Ashkelon. They also view it as belonging to the Land of Israel.
By the end of 2004, Ariel Sharon annouced that he plans to evacuate some of the settlements in Gush Katif, despite fierce opposition from within the Likud and its coalition partner, the NRP (Mafdal). See main article: Israel's unilateral disengagement plan of 2004.
Terror attacks on Gush Katif
Although the Gush Katif settlements and the roads leading to it are guarded by armed Israeli soldiers in watchtowers, settlers are still vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
Since the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada, Gush Katif settlements have seen thousands of attacks by Palestinian terrorists. More than 5,000 mortar shells and Qassam rockets have been launched over Gush Katif, causing so far only few fatalities, a fact which the residents attribute to God's supervision (i.e. a miracle). Most of the ground terror attacks are infiltrations and shooting attacks. In one of these attacks, three Palestinian children, aged 14, 12 and 8-10, infiltrated a settlement and tried to stab a Jewish child. There were even attempts to infilitrate by sea.
In the adjacent cities of Rafah and Khan Yunis, daily gun battles between Palestinian Militants, mainly from Hamas, and Israeli Defense Forces have left hundreds of Palestinians dead and thousands injured. Palestinian attacks on Israeli vehicles traveling in Kissufim road are also very common. In one of these attacks, Palestinian terrorists killed a pregnant mother and her four daughters.
Many of the ground attacks on Gush Katif have been thwarted by the Israeli Defence Forces.
- Gaza strip
- Terrorism against Israelis
- Israeli settlements
- Israeli settlement/Gaza Strip Israeli Population Statistics
- Israel's unilateral disengagement plan of 2004
- Religious Zionism
- Occupied Territories
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