Israeli attractions offer respite to residents of South

As rockets continue to strike southern Israel, residents in central and northern Israel are working to provide respite and safety to those under fire

Baby female rhino born in Ramat Gan safari (September 17, 2018). (photo credit: SHAI BEN NAFTALI)
Baby female rhino born in Ramat Gan safari (September 17, 2018).
(photo credit: SHAI BEN NAFTALI)
Attractions across the country opened their doors to residents of the South on Sunday, offering momentary respite to families affected by the violence on the Gaza-Israel border.
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority, responsible for more than 200 nature reserves and more than 70 national parks, announced that it would grant free access until Tuesday to all its sites, including overnight campsites, to all residents living within 20 kilometers of the Gaza border.
“During these difficult days for the residents of the South and the country in general, our strength is in our unity, and this move led by the Nature and Parks Authority is intended to make it easier for residents of the region to find solutions for a more pleasant and relaxed stay for all the family,” said CEO Shaul Goldstein.
“We will invest the best of our resources to make life as pleasant as possible for families who choose to come to the nature reserves, national parks and overnight campsites.”
Other attractions offering free access or reduced prices included Ramat Gan Safari, which granted half-price access to residents of the South.
Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Hebrew Music Museum, Botanical Garden of the Hebrew University, and attractions in the Jewish Quarter – including the Hurva Synagogue and the Herodian Quarter – all permitted free entry to Gaza border residents. The Tisch Family Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem also offered half-price entry.
Visitors are requested to present an Israeli identity card featuring an address in southern Israel to gain free or discounted access to the sites.
Local authorities in Kiryat Motzkin, north of Haifa, opened a dedicated call center to facilitate hospitality for families of the South in the city.
Local residents interested in hosting families are encouraged to call the municipality at 04-878-0900 or email moked@motzkin.org. The municipality is also offering free one-day entry to Hay Park, home to a zoo and amusement park.
Luxury Israeli hotel chain Dan Hotels announced a 20% discount for residents of the South, and Fattal Hotels – the largest chain in the country – said residents could benefit from 30% off in its hotels in Eilat, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the North.
In Eilat, the La Playa Plus Hotel offered residents of Gaza border communities accommodation at cost price. The hotel is also offering a number of rooms free of charge for residents whose homes have suffered damage from Gaza rocket fire.

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this story.