Until Sunday, when she was forced to leave her home in Gaza's Eilei Sinai settlement, Dikla Barbie lived with her parents and three siblings in a comfortable six-room villa overlooking the Mediterranean. Now she sleeps in a tent near a road junction with 40 families who have established what they call the 'Eilei Sinai Refugee Camp' in protest against what they say is the government's refusal to offer them adequate housing. Despite the scorching sun, the former settlers say they will not leave until the government provides them with the opportunity to stay together as a community, with the same living conditions they enjoyed in the settlement, including a beachfront. 'We are refugees. The government did not look after us so we are looking after ourselves,' said Ms Barbie, 20. To shower, the evacuees rely on the hospitality of supporters from the nearby city of Ashkelon. A trailer - the first vehicle to leave Eilei Sinai - is on display, adorned with bouquets and a picture of Liron Harpaz, a 19-year-old settler who was killed in a Palestinian attack four years ago. 'The people here have known each other for 20 years and we want to stay together,' says Molly Levy, a settler evacuated in 1982 from the Sinai Peninsula settlement of Yamit. 'I slept on a mattress under the sky like everyone. The army gave us sleeping bags. I assume at a certain point most of us will move in to a hotel and we will just have people manning shifts at the protest site,' she added. Not everyone is sympathetic to the evacuees' plight. Israeli commentator Nechemia Strassler, writing in Ha'aretz this week, said settlers had become used to viewing themselves as 'lords of the land' with special privileges. The Eilei Sinai evacuees and others were offered more than adequate compensation and were simply trying to extract a better deal by depicting themselves as refugees, he wrote. Arik Harpaz, father of Liron, said: 'We are a very special community that became united after the terrorist attack in which my daughter was killed. We want to live only with our own people and if we have to take outsiders, then it should be through our admissions committee.' Government officials say a hotel is available in Ashkelon to accommodate all the tent-camp dwellers.