The many explosive balloon attacks that have caused countless fires in Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip in recent days have created great insecurity. Local residents are worried the terror from Gaza will increase further ahead of the new school year, the newspaper Yediot Ahronot writes.
On Thursday, Israel announced that it would stop accessing fuel to Gaza and hit Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the countless explosive balloons that have caused countless fires in Israel. Read MIFF’s article on the closure of the Kerem Hashalom border crossing between Gaza and Israel here.
Explosives and burning materials attached to balloons, kites and the like were a new weapon used by the terrorists in the Gaza Strip in 2018. They have caused thousands of fires and major damage to agriculture, nature and wildlife – read MIFF’s article about it here in Norwegian. Also read more of MIFF’s articles on fire terror here.
See here how Israeli mothers close to Gaza deal with the fear of terror:
In addition to the explosive balloon attacks and the fires they have caused, the locals are also struggling with the Corona crisis and the uncertainty surrounding the reopening of the coming school year on 1 September. The overall situation has made life unmanageable and very unsafe for several Israelis in the area.
Amp Kaspi from Kibbutz Kerem Shalom is the father of three – among them an 11-year-old son who will start in sixth grade.
– We have become accustomed to the terror escalating here in the area every summer. When there are no rocket attacks and sirens, it is a wonderful place to stay. Unfortunately, we have become accustomed to living with terror. We spend more time at home and less outside, so in terms of safety we are less worried. In the past, there were preparations for training and evacuation of families before each military campaign – they failed. During the first Corona wave, distance learning was introduced to the children, but it did not work, says Kapsi.
Guy Teitelbaum, who also lives in kibbutz Kerem Shalom, is the father of three children aged 8, 11 and 17. According to him, the biggest concern for the residents at the moment is the Corona crisis.
– I think our regional council is doing everything they can – it can be seen in the number of infected, but the schools are out of our hands. It is the government that decides what should happen to school education. As long as we are not caught in another round of fighting, I do not think our children should be treated differently than children in the rest of the country, says Teitelbaum.
Merav Cohen, who is the mother of four from Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha, says that the lack of an overview of the reopening of the schools is the biggest challenge.
– We are waiting to know what the new school year will look like. The security situation is disturbing, but at least I can live in denial of reality. We just want to know what the position of the Ministry of Education is, says Merav.
Shlomzion Cohen is the principal of the Alonim Primary School in Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, he says that the staff at the schools in the local communities are preparing to be able to handle both the Corona crisis and the growing terror from Gaza.
– Emergency and teaching staff do what they can to help the children. But it is impossible to shield the children completely from the consequences of terror and the Corona crisis. We try to strengthen the children by making sure they have positive and good experiences, that they experience success, joy and enthusiasm. The distance between people can be reduced in many ways, and that is what the Corona crisis has taught us, Cohen says.