Ganei Tal, GAZA – Media reports that their community had agreed to leave Jewish Gaza are inaccurate and misleading, residents and leaders of a mid-sized farming town slated for evacuation next month told WorldNetDaily.

The Israeli media this week reported residents of Ganei Tal, a neighborhood in Gush Katif, the group of Jewish communities here scheduled for evacuation Aug. 17, agreed to leave Gaza.

A house in Ganei Tal. Photo: WND

Israel’s Ynet News claimed, “A group comprising 46 families residing in the Gaza Strip settlement of Ganei Tal has signed an agreement to voluntarily evacuate the community. At this time, only an internal agreement within the community has been finalized, but government officials have been informed of the deal.”

A Jerusalem Post article titled, “Ganei Tal residents agree to leave Gaza,” echoed the Ynet report, but is now inaccessible on the Internet. Similar reports were featured on Israel’s Channel 2 and Channel 10, on Israeli radio and in several Hebrew dailies.

But the residents of Ganei Tal who allegedly signed the deal agreeing to vacate their homes told WND the media accounts distorted the facts.

“Unlike what the Israeli press lied about, we did not at any time agree to leave,” Rivka Goldschmidt, a Ganei Tal resident who was part of the agreement, told WND. “What we agreed, in private and without the involvement of the Israeli government, is that if our community is forced to evacuate, we will only leave as a unit. This has absolutely nothing to do with our agreeing to leave. We don’t agree to leave. It’s only an agreement in the case of our being forced out.”

Goldschmidt said she is “very upset at the media for reporting inaccurately as if we went to the government and told them we will leave.”

Ganei Tal resident Eitan Haderi, also a party to the agreement, told WND: “Of course we have not agreed to leave. Our community is very important. We simply wanted to ensure that if the time came and we were forced out, we want to be relocated as a group. All of us together.”

WND spoke with about half the 46 families who participated in the pact to move as a community. All said they did not at any time agree to leave.

“I love my community. I lived here most of my life. The only thing I agreed to was that if worse came to worse, we’d go somewhere as a unit,” stated another resident who asked that her name be withheld.

Dror Venunu, director of the Katif Region Development Fund, which oversees area housing, told WND: “Ganei Tal residents, like the rest of us here, are completely against the Gaza evacuation. The media lied and distorted things to make it seem like the residents of Gush Katif agreed to leave. They didn’t do any such thing. We regret the inaccuracies.”

The Post article was later replaced with one titled, “Ganei Tal Settlers – Ready to Go?” which does not report the agreement to leave as fact.

Ganei Tal has 65 families. Most live in large homes on tree-lined streets and work in the agricultural field. Many own some of Katif’s renowned greenhouses, which supply Israel with nearly 75 percent of its produce and feature some of the most advanced agricultural technology in the world, including insect-free produce and advanced temperature regulation.

Knesset Member Tzvi Hendel, a resident of Ganei Tal, has repeatedly stated his neighborhood will continue to oppose the Gaza evacuation plan and would make arrangements for relocating only “if, God forbid, the plan is actualized.”

Gaza’s Jewish residents were entitled to Israeli government compensation if they signed a document stating they will leave. The Disengagement Authority, the government body responsible for overseeing settlement relocation, set an application deadline that came and went Monday.

According to reports, only 240 families from Gaza and 140 from the four West Bank communities slated for evacuation have applied for compensation out of about 1,700 families.

Said Goldschmidt: “In spite of media reports, Ganei Tal is sticking it out like most everyone else here.”

Editor’s note: “ISRAEL BETRAYED?” – the July issue of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine – is devoted entirely to an in-depth exploration of the controversial forced removal of thousands of Jewish residents from Gaza planned for August, and the likely creation of a Hamas-run terror state many believe will follow. Read more about “ISRAEL BETRAYED?”

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