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Elei Sinai was established in 1982 (Sukkot 5743) by a group who had been evicted from Yamit in the Sinai Peninsula. It was named for the yearning to return to the Sinai desert, where Yamit was located.
Avi Farhan, a Yamit expellee, and Arik Herfez, whose daughter had been killed by Palestinian militants, were two of the most notable residents.
Among the arguments in opposition to Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, which stated that the settlers should be evicted from Elei Sinai, was a proposal by Farhan allowing the settlers to remain in their homes as Palestinian citizens, an idea the Palestinians the Israeli government rejected.
The residents had actually left their homes voluntarily but returned after realizing that the government had no place to send them.[clarification needed]
On 21 August 2005, the approximately 100 families living in the village, were surrendered by IDF forces, and were forcefully evicted before the village was demolished. After the eviction, a group of fifty families established themselves at the Yad Mordechai junction as a protest that the government hadn't found a community solution for them. Others were sent to the Shirat HaYam hotel. The rest of the settlement later split into a few groups, including those now found in:
- Karmia, who were promised future homes in Talmei Yafeh close to Ashkelon.
- Or HaNer, who were promised future homes in the Bat Hadar neighborhood close to Ashkelon.
Farhan and a part of his family establish a new group and hope to establish a new community in the center of the country. The government agreed in 2006 to acclimatize this group in Palmachim.
- Laila El-Haddad (4 Jul 2005). "Interview: Israeli settler Avi Farhan". Aljazeera. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Nir Hasson (4 February 2005). "Some settlers choose Gaza over citizenship". Haaretz. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Katya Adler (18 August 2005). "One small victory in a lost battle". BBC News. Retrieved 18 January 2014.