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One of the pioneering resident farmers of the Jewish communities of the Gaza Strip uprooted in 2005 says she has a solution for the current Gaza conflict: Re-establish Gush Katif, the ex-Jewish neighborhoods of Gaza.
Anita Tucker, a founder of Netzer Hazani, the first of the 23 towns of Gush Katif, said during a radio interview Sunday that not only is she ready to move back to Gaza, she believes about 90 percent of Katif’s nearly 8,700 former residents will enlist to return.
Further, Tucker contended if the Israeli government would allow Gush Katif to be reconstructed in Gaza, there would be lines of Israelis waiting to move there.
Tucker is currently a community leader who has helped to keep most of the former Katif residents living together in towns outside Gaza.
“The only answer is for us to go back and start over again,” said Tucker, addressing the Hamas rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
Tucker was speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s AM 970 The Answer.
“Not only I would go back,” Tucker told Klein, “I think about 90 percent of the people from Gush Katif would go back, certainly the second generation. I think there would be many people waiting on line to go back home.”
“Of course, the first thing that has to be done is to rid the area of those who want to kill us,” she added.
Tucker outlined a plan whereby the Israeli military would “rid the area” of Hamas and other anti-Israel jihadists and their supporters followed by the return of Gaza’s former Jewish communities.
Stated Tucker: “If we did do this properly and we did take over the area and those who want to kill us either have to be killed, that’s the rules of the world. If somebody wants to kill you, you will them first. If they want to leave to another place they are welcome to do so. If they want to live peacefully with me, I am willing to start all over again and we would all be happy to come back in and start new towns there again.”
Tucker and her husband, Stuart, lived and farmed in Gush Katif for nearly 30 years, until they were expelled during Israel’s 2005 Gaza disengagement.
She recalled arriving in Gaza to empty sand dunes and being told by local Arabs the land could not be worked.
“When we came there, they were totally empty sand dunes,” Tucker told Klein. “And anyone we met on those empty sand dunes were Arab neighbors who told us that we can’t possibly grow anything there. That it’s their tradition that the area is called the cursed land and the last ones who ever lived there were Abraham and Isaac.”
“Then we started planting in greenhouses. We had a contract to grow tomatoes for export to the U.S. And these totally bare, barren sand dunes turned into a blossoming viable community.”
While Tucker had harsh words for those in Gaza whom she said had an enemy mentality, she described how the early Jewish Gaza pioneers, including herself, rejuvenated the territory for the Palestinians, many of whom worked in the Jewish farms and greenhouses.
She said when the Israeli government connected Gush Katif to electricity and water pipelines, it was Katif community leaders insisted those pipelines provide for the territory’s Arabs as well.
She explained how Gush Katif farmers helped local Arabs progress from primitive farming tactics to modern agriculture and spoke of her fondness for the Palestinians employed in her own greenhouses.
Tucker warned Islamists in Gaza have ultimate designs beyond Israel that extend to all of Western civilization. “[They say] not only do we want to get rid of Israel we want to conquer the world, and the infidels and the Jews and the Christians alike. They speak very clearly. We are the only ones that are hesitating actually.”
Listen to the interview with Tucker below: