Trees planted along the Gaza security fence.
(photo credit: AMNON GUTMAN/KKL ARCHIVES)
Four years after the end of Operation Protective Edge, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund has completed another round of tree planting to hide the Israeli settlements and roads abutting the Gaza Strip in order to make it more difficult for terrorists shooting projectiles over the border.
The tree-planting operation began four years ago, after an anti tank missile exploded near a school bus between Kibbutz Sa'ad and Kibbutz Miflasim killing sixteen-year-old Daniel Viflic. Since then, some twelve kilometers of trees have been planted, or around one kilometer for each community in the area.
The project has been expanded to 'hide' major roadways around the train tracks between the towns of Netivot and Sderot and this week 'security rings' of trees were planted around Sa'ad, Miflasim, and Bnei Netzarim.
KKL-JNF invested five million shekels in the project, half its cost, which was approved by the Ministry of Defense and the IDF and which was executed in cooperation with the area regional councils.
"The purpose of the project is to block the view of the houses and the roadways. The trees were planted in all areas near the fence in the western Negev," Ami Oliel, KKL-JNF's manager for southern Israel explained.
Oliel said most of the trees planted were Eucalyptus, which were employed for their height and their rapid growth. He said that the first trees planted had already reached eight meters and that in two years time they would provide cover for the communities.
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