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'We lost our homes for nothing,' says reservist from former Gaza settlement By Nir Hasson Tags: israel news, gaza, hamas
Three years after being evacuated from settlements in the Gaza Strip, some of the evacuees are now returning - in uniform.
Aharon Cruz, a paratroops officer, lived in Netzarim for two years before the disengagement. On Sunday, he and his unit, to which he had been recalled a mere day after his wedding last Thursday, were back at the settlement's ruins in central Gaza.Yossi Neuman, a reserve officer in Southern Command who once lived in Neve Dekalim, was called up over a week ago. His son Itai, a tank commander, called him yesterday from the ruins of Netzarim.
"It's a destructive feeling," Neuman said. "I'm here on an emergency call-up and my son is fighting for what we once had. We said missiles would haunt Ashkelon and they said we were delusional. We lost our homes and our lives for nothing, for nothing at all in exchange. And in the end, we're returning to fight there."
For many evacuees, the feelings were heightened by the news that the son of Zvika Bar-Hai - a West Bank settler who was one of the leaders of the fight against disengagement - was seriously wounded on the first day of the ground operation."It's a stab in the heart," added another, Eliyahu Ozen. "Today it is clear that when I lived in Netzarim, I was the country's flak jacket. Today, I live with the feeling that I did my job. Too bad they didn't want it any more."