'Quality of life, education, and of course Zionism'

Yesha Council holds solidarity visit with Gaza area residents, meets with youth who continue leading lives despite terror kite routine.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Yesha Council visits Gaza envelope
Yesha Council visits Gaza envelope
Yesha Council spokesperson

The leaders of the Yesha Council held a solidarity visit this morning with Gaza vicinity residents.

The visit began at Kibbutz Nachal Oz where a tour was held with Nachal Oz farm coordinator Ohad Cohen, one of the founders of the kibbutz, who has been living there since 1953.

The meeting was attended by Yesha Council Chairman Chananel Dorani, Director General Shilo Adler, Deputy Directors Matanya Shapira and Yigal Dilomoni and Security Coordinator Shlomo Vaknin.

Nahal Oz residents spoke about the current situation and the great community strength found on the kibbutz. During Operation Protective Edge Nachal Oz absorbed hundreds of mortar rounds and 17 families left. Since then there has been great development and growth.

Yankele Cohen told Council members, "Thirty-one families have come since Protective Edge, and they all come for the same reasons that make them come to Judea and Samaria: quality of life, education, and of course Zionism. Before Protective Edge we had 215 people and today, within a few years, we stand at 430 people. This is an abnormal story."

Ohad Cohen added, "We're here because it's Zionism. It's clear to us that we're here continuing with agriculture and development because it's important for the State of Israel."

During the tour Yesha Council heads came to the kibbutz's western observation point closest to Gaza which lies about 700 meters from the fence, where they gave the kibbutz residents a special olive tree with an old trunk that grew new and young branches. The gift symbolizes the strength of the place, that draws inspiration from the unshakable heritage and the longstanding attachment to the land, along with freshness and new growth.

Yesha Council Chairman Chananel Dorani summed up the visit. "We came here to show solidarity and to draw strength. We've been experiencing a challenging period of growth and we've had very difficult years of terror attacks that mercilessly hit us, but we've taken root and grown from 120,000 residents in the early 1990s, to close to a half-million today. Nahal Oz and the Gaza vicinity have also gone through difficult periods, and I have no doubt that this challenging period will lead to the development and absorption by other young families who don't come here for security, but despite the security situation.

"The real Zionist act is to come here, to hold on to the land, and continue to develop the State of Israel," says Dorani.