Settlers of the Neveh Dekalim in the Gush Katif settlement bloc decided that half of them will move to a tent city as means of protesting disengagement, Israeli media sources reported.
Some 250 out of the 490 families in the settlement confirmed at the meeting that they were interested in moving to the tents.
"We are very serious about this since the government has no proper solution for us. We are preparing this operation down to its smallest detail, like a `tower and stockade’ operation," said settlement chair Sarita Maoz, who was received with a loud applause.
Maoz was referring to rural settlements thrown up overnight by Jews in defiance of British law in the 1940s.
The settlers are planning to purchase tents that can accommodate 12 people, and some more tents to be used as kitchens, storage, a school and other facilities. Originally, the plan was to set the tents up in the Nitzanim area to pressure the government establish new settlements there for the evacuees. However fear that this might take some time and families would have to pass the winter in the tents had them to shift the location to the northern Negev seeking a moderate winter.
This plan is expected to cost around NIS 200 thousands of which 60 thousands have been raised so far, from donors and the residents themselves.
Originator of the idea, chairman of the Neve Dekalim settlement Lior Khalfa said "This is the most serious of all scenarios as far as we’re concerned."
The plan aims to keep the settlers of this bloc together instead of being scattered in different after relocation.
"Keeping the community together is the most important thing for us," said resident Shaltiel Yehuda.
Apparently the tent city idea is growing among settlers, which signals surrender to the evacuation by settlers.
Neveh Dekalim is the second settlement to announce its intention to move to a tent city. The first was Elei Sinai in the northern Gaza Strip, which plans to put up tents in the heart of the nature reserve to pressure the government.
On the other hand, Gush Katif’s leaders oppose the tent cities. Meanwhile, they are stil investing effort to bring addition residents to the settlements slated for evacuation to support the resistance to disengagement.
Some young people moved to a hotel near Neveh Dekalim are renovating the rooms. They have put a sign declaring it to be a new settlement in the area.
According to Aryeh Yitzhaki, a Kfar Yam resident helping newcomers move to Gush Katif, by June some 240 new families are due to move to the area.