PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Israel Perspectives: Visit to IDF, GAZA BORDER

1. Part of the Ministry of Defense, Executes government policy in the West Bank and Gaza. A young captain coordinates all the goods going to Gaza. Cement goes thru foreign entities like the UN or WHO. Every item is logged and tracked.

This is the Buffer Zone and the Israeli Military coordinates thru here. Working conditions are harsh. A CHARMING YOUNG OFFICER WITH A LOVE FOR THE DIVERSITY OF THE ARMY UNITS; DRUZE, ETHIOPIANS, FRENCH, YEMENITES, is one of many , responsible for Israel’s defense on the Gaza Border.

She is a Lone Soldier. It’s a Hard life , made better by the Friends of the IDF, who provide a warm home for every kid who wants to serve their country.

At the EREZ BORDER terminal, 350 people cross daily. They thought it would serve 100′,000 but most Gazans cross the border for medical treatment only in Israel. Though Gaza has a hospital, most prefer to travel one hour to the closest Israeli hospital.

We saw photos of the GAZAN TUNNELS, large structures capable of transporting food and cars and equipment to the Gazan population. Commerce appears to travel under and over ground. There is an acknowledged water shortage in the region which has not been resolved.

Living in this region is a hard life. No matter which part of the fence you’re on, this is hardship duty. Young IDF soldiers sit glued to their monitors trying to protect the peace. There is very little joy at this out post; however, on the day we visited, the Captains had their first family outing In a year with their wives and children. A carnival was in progress, replete with rides for the kids and cotton candy.

Our next stop was Askelon, a beautiful city by the sea, within striking distance of the Gazan rockets. WE VISITED THE ORT SCHOOL FOR KIDS IN THE REGION. These 12 th graders had experienced several rocket attacks and felt the trauma. When questioned, they felt that both sides were being terrorized. They believe that the Palestinians are being used by their government. Cleary, when speaking with the Palestinian authority the next day , they had little sympathy for HAMAS.

When meeting with members of the local Askelon populace, they too felt abandoned by their government. They have been asked to accept a multitude of minorities entering Israeli society, which has weakened their economy. THEY, TOO, ARE LOOKING FOR PEACE WITH THE PEOPLE OF GAZA. They walked the streets of Askelon before, they participated in the Southern Israel Society, the people of the Southern Israel region would trade Peace for rockets.

Though Gaza and the West Bank are linked together, they can be separated, with different solutions for both areas? It’s a choice?

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