Ashdod Police officers stand in a front yard hit by a Hamas rocket..
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Deputy German Ambassador Benedikt Haller gave NATAL – Israel’s Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War a check for €50,000 (NIS 235,000) on Wednesday to provide assistance for residents of the South traumatized by the rocket fire from Gaza.
The aid from the German government is earmarked to enable NATAL to provide psychological care to civilians – primarily children and youth – in communities near the Gaza border suffering from trauma stemming from the rocket and mortar attacks.
According to the German Embassy in Tel Aviv, this is not the first time Berlin has supported Natal. “With this support, the German Embassy wants to express its solidarity with the Israeli citizens suffering from unending attacks from the Gaza Strip,“ the embassy said.
German Chancellor Angel Merkel met with the head of Natal, Orly Gal, during the last government to government meeting in Jerusalem in February and according to the statement was “deeply impressed” with the organization’s work.
During Operation Protective Edge, the 16-year-old organization worked on an emergency footing providing assistance to residents of southern Israel, including to children and their parents trying to cope with the trauma, as well as to the elderly and people with special needs.
NATAL’s Community Outreach Unit has been conducting training and creativity workshops for teaching staff, as well as for managers of companies and organizations operating in southern Israel. The group’s Mobile Unit, made up of mental health professionals, has visited hundreds of homes in the South to provide psychological and emotional first aid to families and residents too afraid to leave their homes.