Growing Eucalyptus trees planted along the road of Kibbutz Mifalsim for security.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Hundreds of acres of security plantings carried out in this part of Israel since the 1950s have now gone up in smoke due to incessant incendiary kite and balloon attacks from Gaza. KKL-JNF teams are working around the clock to mitigate the damage to these security trees by caring for them on a daily basis.
Extensive damage has been inflicted upon thickets of trees planted around eleven communities in the Western Negev in the 1950s to provide a natural protective screen between them and the Gaza Strip. In recent years these thickets have been fortified by many more lifesaving trees planted for this purpose with the help of KKL-JNF’s Friends throughout the world.
KKL-JNF Western Negev Recreation Area Coordinator Itzik Lugasi, who is in charge of the security plantings, explains: “These security plantings make an enormous difference. The trees conceal local communities and roads and make it hard for the terrorists to hit them directly. The camouflage they provide protects farmers from sharpshooters, and the army uses them for cover when necessary, too. What’s more, a missile fired at the area has a very good chance of hitting the trees first, and when it hits the ground they will absorb most of the shrapnel. When we planted trees along Route no. 25, I invited the father of Daniel Viflic, who was killed when an anti-tank missile hit his school bus in April 2011, to accompany us. He estimated that had there been trees at the site of the attack back then, his son would not have been injured.”