Minister of Economics and Trade Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) spent much of Sunday helping residents of Judea and Samaria who were stranded by the intense snow storm that has hit the Middle East in the last few days.
He began the morning at Tapuah Junction in Samaria, where he spoke to a representative of the Israel Electric Company (IEC), who gave him a rundown regarding the current power supply to communities in the region. Bennett asked the IEC representative to speed up the reconnection of Judea and Samaria communities to the electrical grid, terming the situation “a serious humanitarian problem.”
In the community of Ofra, north of Jerusalem, Bennett energetically shoveled snow to free a stuck car that was carrying a pregnant woman. He then went north to Yitzhar, and assisted in giving directions to vehicles that were attempting to reach the community. Following this, Bennett brought warm pita bread to the residents, whose community had not been supplied with bread for several days.
Bennett then drove to the community of Eli with Jewish Home Director Nir Orbach, who brought bread rolls, 'rogalach' chocolate cakes and milk to the residents. They visited the Nof Harim neighborhood, and helped another family shovel snow to free its car.
"This is the only freeze that will take place here,” Bennett announced. “There will be no more freeze other than this freeze.” He was referring, of course, to the freeze on construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria that the Palestinian Authority has been demanding, which the Jewish Home opposes.
"From last night until now, I have been touring on the ground, and I have been seeing the good old beautiful Land of Israel,” he wrote afterward on his Facebook page. “I saw isolated communities that have not had electricity for 60 hours, with a rare bond of mutual assistance, in which one family with electricity hosts three that do not have it. I saw the fortitude of residents who have not showered for three days and are not complaining. I saw civilian bulldozer drivers who know that every road they clear is a sacred mission for saving human lives.
"I saw citizens who voluntarily use their 4X4 jeeps to carry entire families to safety. I saw how a community is evacuated and every house is checked to make sure that no one is left behind, with an emphasis on the old and weak. I saw IDF commanders and residents going from community to community, and taking care of residents who have not eaten, who feel unwell, who need assistance.”
Bennett summed up: “Of course there are lessons to be learned and we will learn them – there is no need for commissions of inquiry for that. But in the course of these days I remembered again – we have a terrific country.”