At a time when the entire State of Israel has come under fire, it is the children who suffer most – and this is especially true of those who live in the south of the country. Instead of enjoying their summer vacation they are obliged to remain indoors, living from one air-raid alert to the next in constant fear of being hit by rockets.
For many years now KKL-JNF has been organizing respite activities for youngsters living in the Gaza periphery and elsewhere in southern Israel, and now, with Operation Protective Edge underway, it has once more stepped into the breach.
A group of children and teenagers from MoshavYoshivya, which is adjacent to Netivot near the Gaza Border, left home for a two-day visit to KKL-JNF forests in the northern Negev and the Ein Gedi region. After over a week of staying close to the protected room in their homes, these young people were now given a wonderful opportunity to recover themselves in calm natural surroundings, escape the tension and get in touch with Israel’s magnificent landscapes. Although the original route had included a visit to Beersheba River Park,
the current security situation ruled out this possibility.
“It’s stressful to live in the south just now, especially at night, when you can hear the shelling,” said 16-year-old Saar Touitou
. “We’ve been staying at home the whole time, close to the protected room, and it’s great that suddenly there’s a trip like this one, which gets us away from the stress for a bit. It’s fun to spend time here with friends and forget about the situation for a while. The bombing at home seems so far away now.”
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