Gaza Periphery 758.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Tuesday, January 13, the third day of the KKL-JNF World Marketing Conference, was devoted to special tours all over Israel where participants got a close look at a variety of KKL-JNF projects in different fields: populations at risk in central Israel, life on the border in the Gaza perimeter, multicultural coexistence in northern Israel, ecotourism and agriculture in the central Arava, and renewable energy and food security in the southern Arava.
This group took a tour to KKL-JNF projects on the Gaza border, where they gained first-hand knowledge of what it means to be 'living on the edge' in southern Israel.
The people living along Israel's border with Gaza have suffered artillery and missile attacks for many years, making life for local residents extremely stressful. School children have spent much time in bomb shelters instead of in classrooms or playing outdoors. The situation has also played havoc with the regions' economy, with the lack of stability discouraging investment and in many cases leads to the collapse of businesses.
Known as the Gaza Envelope (Otef Aza in Hebrew), this area includes the town of Sderot as well as a number of kibbutzim and moshavim. It is with this impossible reality that residents of the area have to live with every day.
It is to this region which the group spent the day visiting January 13.
Their first stop of the day was at Moshav Netiv HaAsara. Moshav Nativ HaAsara relocated to its present location in the Zikim sand dunes after its evacuation from Yamit as part of the 1982 withdrawal from Sinai. Netiv HaAsara is named in honor of the ten soldiers who lost their lives in a helicopter crash south of Rafiah in 1971. To date, the moshav has some 240 families, comprising 800 people. The community is 200 meters from the Gaza border and suffers from missiles and terrorist activity.
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