Federation's sister community, Sha'ar HaNegev, is situated just one mile from the Gaza strip and, for the people who live there, the sound of sirens and threat of rocket fire have been a part of daily life for a long time. Federation provides the community with ongoing support but has been asked to make an extra effort at this time in response to the escalating critical needs of the people who live there.
For Atiya Karnawy, an Israeli bedouin living near Omer in southern Israel and father of two young daughters, the situation became desperate when his daughters were both wounded by shrapnel from a rocket launched from Gaza by Hamas terrorists. Thankfully, Partnership 2Gether Director, Shimon Shamila, was able to step in and help this family in a time of crisis due to the Jewish Agency's Special Victims of Terror Fund. A check was issued to Atiya for 4,000 NIS that would help his family heal and recover and to know that they are not alone in this.
Mayor of Sha'ar HaNegev, Alon Schuster, expressed to us that our support is always deeply appreciated, but never more so than right at this moment. Here is his letter to our community with his feedback on the situation:
Dear Friends Overseas,
Last month terrorist attacks from Gaza increased on our communities in Sha'ar Hanegev and on our neighboring towns. Two weeks later, a state of emergency was declared across Israel. The shooting at us continued, and was soon stepped up by rocket and mortar fire.
We've been aware for months of the danger of the tunnels, from which several attacks have been conducted against Israel. Many of them are opposite the border communities of Sha'ar Hanegev - Nahal Oz, Kfar Azza, Mefalsim, Nir Am and Erez. Because of that cluster of threats, Israel's government decided to instruct the IDF to enter the Gaza Strip, in a limited range, and to eradicate the intolerable threat of the tunnels.
In the most endangered communities, families with children have been evacuated from the region, with most of them being hosted in kibbutzim or youth villages further north. All communities are functioning admirably, via local leadership that works in close coordination with the regional council's emergency teams and national emergency officials.
I am in direct contact with the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister, the Chief of Staff, IDF & police commanders. All of them cite the responsible and courageous behavior of our communities and residents, and the council's professional conduct.
Friends, your support is always important to us, but never more than right now. Knowing that you're thinking about us, that our struggle is your struggle - is a tremendous source of strength and gives us great hope for happier times.
Hoping to meet soon,
Alon Schuster, Mayor
Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council
There is an ongoing need for support and your gifts are making a real difference in the lives of millions of families, elderly and disabled residents and the most vulnerable Israelis in the community.
To reach out for the people of Israel and show your support make a donation online or text 'ISRAEL AID' to 51818.