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ICEJ Aid brings hope to Gaza border communities

AID PROJECTS

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9 Jul 2015 (All day)
ICEJ Aid brings hope to Gaza border communities

The ICEJ Aid team was recently in Sderot, the small Israeli community on the border with the Hamas-occupied Gaza Strip which has been targeted by thousands of rockets and mortars since Israel’s disengagement in 2005.

During one meeting with Gadi Yarkoni, leader of Eshkol Regional Council, the ICEJ was able to present two new bomb shelters funded by donations from the ICEJ USA branch and in cooperation with Operation Lifeshield, an ICEJ partner organization. Residents and officials told the ICEJ Aid team that the recent one year anniversary of last summer’s Operation Protective Edge was marked by a barrage of projectiles launched into Israel by terrorist organizations in the Strip. Although the barrage did not cause any injuries or damage, the red alert sirens and attendant scramble for shelter brought back terrible memories and new anxiety. A recent study found that nearly 40% of children in southern Israeli communities suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other psychological/emotional issues from the rocket attacks.

The shelters ICEJ Aid is able to place in southern communities protect flesh and blood but they also provide badly needed peace of mind for children and their parents. Additionally, the shelters are a tangible reminder that they are not alone and the world has not forgotten them.

Yarkoni, who lost his legs and two close friends to a rocket attack in the closing minutes of last summer’s war, told the ICEJ Aid team that his “vision is to give hope to the people, and that they feel safe where they are” adding his thanks to ICEJ for donating the shelters which will help bring that vision to reality.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Jeremy Maissal, the leader of Kibbutz Alumim, which is 4 km from the Gaza border and has also been targeted by many rocket and mortar attacks. The bomb shelter ICEJ Aid was able to provide this community was placed near a small zoo which is a favourite destination for children. During last summer’s war, the children were afraid to come to the zoo because there was no shelter there to run to in case of a rocket attack, but thanks to donors like you, children are once again flocking to this lovely oasis.

 

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