News / Middle East

Gaza Conflict Brings New Worries to Israeli Border Communities

Gaza Conflict Brings New Worries to Israeli Border Communitiesi
X
Scott Bobb
August 13, 2014 7:47 PM
A temporary three-day cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian fighters in Gaza has brought a few days of peace to southern Israel but many residents have yet to return home. They say that in addition to the threat of rockets from above, the latest conflict brought a new fear: from under the ground. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Kibbutz Nahal Oz.
Scott Bobb

A temporary three-day cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian fighters in Gaza has brought a few days of peace to southern Israel but many residents have yet to return home. They say that in addition to the threat of rockets from above, the latest conflict brought a new fear: from under the ground.
 
An uneasy quiet has settled over Nahal Oz.  Eighty of the community’s residents stayed during the recent conflict.  They keep in close touch, but mostly stay indoors.
 
The community’s 300 cows survived the shells that fell here for one month.  They still provide the dairy products the kibbutz is known for.
 
But the fields outside the perimeter go largely unattended.  And most of the 400 residents who evacuated at the start of the conflict have yet to return.
 
This 60-year-old farming community lies 800 meters from the Gaza Strip.  Even in quieter times, it is hit regularly by rockets and mortars from across the border.
 
Dov Hartuv, the kibbutz archivist, has lived here for more than 50 years.  He says the conflict was different this time.
 
“The tunnels. It was always something that was known but never taken seriously. And now, in this war, suddenly 33 tunnels were destroyed," he said. "And one tunnel was destroyed opposite Nahal Oz.”
 
Some tunnels, in fact, were used by Gaza militants during the recent hostilities to cross into Israel.  Israeli officials say there may be other tunnels still out there.  But that, says Hartuv, is not the only difference.
 
“There’s also a generation change. The mood of the country has changed.  It’s acceptable to be in doubt,” he said.
 
This is because many young families are debating whether to stay.  One father brought his children back during the cease-fire, but just for a visit, he says. They were homesick.
   
Hartuv says the uncertainty places many strains on a family.
 
“I think it’s a whole gambit of emotions.  It’s personal.  It’s in the marriage.  It’s with the children," he said. "It’s in relation to living on a kibbutz or moving to the city.  All these questions arise now, and sometimes all at one time.”
 
Haruyv’s oldest son moved away two years ago, the last of his four children to leave.  Hartuv, however, says he will stay.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More