ICEJ delegates in front of the life-saving trees that shield Moshav Netiv HaAsara from terror attacks, planted with their support.
(photo credit: YEHUDA PERETZ/KKL-JNF PHOTO ARCHIVE)
The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ) delegation to Israel spent their first day - Sunday, March 3 - touring the country with KKL-JNF. The 22 participants, who hail from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, are all staunch supporters of Israel. Some had visited Israel several times before while others were here on their first visit.
IECJ tour leader Stephan Lehnert said that they had signed up for the tour thanks to an article he published in their church magazine. “I have been leading these church tours to Israel for over twenty years and it has become a tradition”, he explained.
The visitors’ day began at Moshav Netiv HaAsara on the Gaza border, where they encountered local residents and explored the area. Waiting on the moshav’s eastern side - facing the Gaza Strip - to meet them was Danny Ben David, KKL-JNF Director for the Western Negev. He welcomed them warmly and thanked them for their support.
“The tall trees you see growing all along the edge of the moshav were planted just two years ago by KKL-JNF, following a donation from your organization,” he said. “Besides their beauty and their ecological contribution, these trees provide enhanced physical protection for the residents of the area. They create a barrier so that snipers in Gaza cannot see what is going on inside the community, and they act as a solid buffer if a bomb explodes in the vicinity.”
Ben David described in detail the explosive kite and incendiary balloon terror attacks perpetuated from across the border in recent months.
After hearing the explanation about the security problems on the Gaza border, one of the delegation participants asked why Israelis chose to continue living there under the constant threat of terror: “Is it for economic reasons or is it because of ideology?”
Ben David suggested that she should wait to get that answer later in the day, from the people who actually live here.
Why do Israelis choose to live on the Gaza border under threat of terror? Read on here.