Gaza: 'We're not packing. The army must take us out'

Mr Slater, 46, said: "No we are not packing up. We want to stay here. We don't think it's good for Israel. If they want to take us out, then that's what they'll have to do and they'll have to take our things."

What about the threat that they would lose a third of their compensation by staying beyond the deadline? "I have heard about this but there are things that are worth more than money. This is important."

Mr Slater used to work for an agricultural business in the settlements, which is now closed. Apart from his presence in the house in the middle of the day, an atmosphere of normality prevailed. His daughter Tirza, 14, peeled potatoes for the afternoon meal. They went to a communal ceremony at which the residents of Neve Dekalim prayed together, possibly for the last time.

The family was, said Mr Slater, simply passing the time. The family had discussed what to do. "We told the children they could go if they wanted but they all wanted to stay."

Tirza said: "It's important to be here. I don't want to leave when other people are staying and fighting to stay. It's very hard to leave and anyway I don't want to be separated from my parents."

Mr Slater said he had few personal feelings. "This is not really our problem; I can get on with my life. It is a problem for the whole nation. There is nowhere in the world that would give land to its enemies. If you run away from terror it will come after you. It won't stop."

Mr Slater praises George Bush and Tony Blair for fighting "terror in Iraq", but when it is pointed out that both men support Ariel Sharon's disengagement policy, he says he cannot understand why they don't apply what he sees as the same criteria to what is happening in Israel, adding improbably: "Perhaps it's because we are Jews."

Mrs Slater, 45, whose mother was born in London, is less dispassionate. "What do I feel?" she asks. "Sadness, frustration, anger. Is that enough?" Mr Slater says they know only that they will go to "some hotel" after the evacuation. And when the army come? "We will try to convince them, tell them they are doing something wrong, something bad. I guess we won't convince them. They're only soldiers. They are only doing their job. Then we'll go. We won't fight."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
election 2015
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Ashdown Group: Accountant - London - £48,000 - 12 month FTC

£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: International Acc...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power