Over Yom Kippur, the Pina Hama ("The Cozy Corner") soldiers' rest station on the busy highway between Jerusalem and Hebron was robbed. Soldiers frequent the popular volunteer-run retreat, which is close to both Alon Shvut and Efrat, to hang out, talk with locals, and enjoy free food and beverages. The haven was established six years ago in memory of Dr. Shmuel Gillis and Tzachi Sasson, local residents who were murdered within 10 days of each other by terrorists in February 2001. When volunteers headed to the Pina Hama after the Yom Kippur fast ended. they discovered almost all its equipment had been stolen, including a popcorn machine, a slush machine, tables and chairs, water coolers, a juice machine, a hot water urn, a microwave, a freezer and assorted paper goods. According to treasurer Ira Hauser, the Pina Hama is usually guarded, but because of the holiday, soldiers were placed elsewhere. "They cleaned us out," said Hauser. "It's a good thing they couldn't get the fridge out the door." Volunteers contacted the police and local security forces, who arrived on the scene the following day. An investigation is under way. In the meantime, said Hauser, the Pina Hama is still open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., Sunday through Friday, "functioning on simple coffee and cake until we get ourselves set up again." Every item at the Pina Hama was donated by individuals or organizations in Israel and abroad. For more information or to make a donation, call 993-8094 or 052-444-8948.

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