Israeli Settler Readies for Gaza Withdrawal

Dikla Gal-Ed, a 29-year-old Jewish settler, is helping her family pack for the move out of Gush Katif. She talks about the difficult process of preparing to leave and her frustration with the decision to withdraw.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

This week, we're hearing the voices of a number of people involved in the withdrawal from Gaza, and this morning, we've called Dikla Gal-Ed(ph). She's an Israeli settler. She's lived in Gush Katif in a village there called Ganatal(ph) with her family for 25 years, and she's on the line.

Can you just tell us what you're doing today?

Ms. DIKLA GAL-ED: This morning, my mother woke me up. I was sleeping, like, with my brother in an empty room, a room that used to be a beautiful one with nice furniture and a beautiful view goes to the sea and our beautiful garden.

INSKEEP: You've already moved away all your furniture and everything?

Ms. GAL-ED: One truck moved. The other one is about to move today, but they didn't bring professional people. They're breaking things. God knows something is broken again. It's terrible to see your house empty, dirty. People were sleeping all over our houses, people that I don't know, you know, from the company who was packing. I feel like I've been raped.

INSKEEP: Has the Israeli military arrived in your village yet?

Ms. GAL-ED: Well, they should have arrived yesterday, but twice we blocked them. We didn't let them in. Today, we got an agreement since they asked them, people in our village, who wants to meet the soldiers, tell them what they have to say. We have a lot to say, that we don't want to be grabbed from our houses. We love this place. Please, don't take us from our homeland. So people want to stay there. So they decided that one officer will come to the head of the village and he will get at the least all the families who are willing to accept soldiers to their houses to get papers.

INSKEEP: Now as part of this negotiation with the soldiers, will you in the end leave voluntarily by the deadline of midnight tonight?

Ms. GAL-ED: God knows. My mother wants me to leave before 'cause she said I'm too sensitive and she don't want me to get hurt and take it too personally, but I just can't. I can't leave and think that there won't be any other place to come back. I don't want to ...(unintelligible). I just can't do that. I want to stay here forever.

INSKEEP: I'm sorry for your difficulty. You know that you will be made to leave, it appears, no matter what you do?

Ms. GAL-ED: I don't want to leave just like that. I mean, did you know that our prime minister didn't even speak to us? No one told us about that cruel plan. We just--we heard about it from the newspapers. We didn't get any announcement. If someone will not come and tell me, `Go away,' I will not do that. I will not volunteer to leave my home.

INSKEEP: It's the decision of your government, it's the decision of your country that this is the way things have to be. Do you think that you owe anything to your government or your country in this situation?

Ms. GAL-ED: I owe to a government a kick in the ass. I don't agree with the way they did it. Mr. Sharon didn't even explain why he's doing it, and we all know that he's doing it because he's not a frank person, and I'm ashamed in my prime minister in he doesn't give any explanation.

INSKEEP: We've been hearing a number of different viewpoints this week on Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and one of them comes from Dikla Gal-Ed, a Jewish settler in Gaza.

Thanks very much.

Ms. GAL-ED: Only with pleasure.

INSKEEP: More NPR coverage of the Gaza pullout is at npr.org.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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