Immigrants in besieged Safed absorption center 'unfazed'

By JENNY MERKIN, YAEL WOLYNETZ
July 14, 2006 03:37
2 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

An Ethiopian new immigrant was on his way to his health fund when he was hit by shrapnel outside the gate of the Cana'an Jewish Agency absorption center in Safed on Thursday. The immigrant, who was not identified, was not seriously wounded and, after being treated by Magen David Adom, chose to return to his family at the absorption center rather than receive further medical attention at a hospital. The absorption center was hit by three Katyusha rockets on Thursday. Two landed by the gate of the center, which is home to 3,000 new immigrants, and the third hit the building itself. Despite a rocky new beginning in Israel, the new immigrant is not fazed by Thursday's events, nor has he become disenchanted with his new home. According to Eli Yitzchaki, director of Jewish Agency absorption centers, "the new immigrants are not intimidated by today's events. They are so happy to be in Israel. Despite what's going on, life for them here is still better." Veteran Safed residents never envisioned their hometown as a dangerous place, despite its proximity to the Israeli-Lebanese border. The city is best known as a holy site in the sleepy mountains of the Upper Galilee. Sarah Rubenstein, who has lived in Safed for 26 years, has never been concerned about Safed's location. "Only during the Gulf War were we slightly worried," she explained. "Almost everything passed us by and then the intifada was in the center of the country." Other residents were unsurprised by Hizbullah's attacks on the Upper Galilee. "It was like a pimple waiting to burst," said Yaffa Smolensky, upon reentering her house in Safed from a nearby bomb shelter. "We expected it when the soldier was abducted in Gaza and Katyushas were coming in throughout the country. Something was expected on the Lebanese front. We knew this was the beginning of the war." Despite the initial shock, Smolensky noted that the 20 neighbors gathered with her in the nearby bomb shelter all remained in a relative state of calm. "Of course they were agitated, as anyone would be if there were rockets flying above their homes, but there was no sense of panic." Gavriel Rubenstein, Sarah's son, who was originally locked out of his neighborhood bomb shelter, painted a different picture of the situation. "People are panicking," he said. "No one expected this to happen. We trusted the army to protect us when the time came and to destroy these rockets before they got too close."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN