Rebuilding Heartland

The Eco-Terrorism Aftermath

The Darkest Day

On October 7th, over 3,000 terrorists surged across Israel’s southern border, leaving devastation in their wake. They abducted 253 people including babies and elderly, killing and maiming 1,400 innocent lives. Homes were reduced to ashes, and the outbreak of violence forced over 200,000 Israelis to flee in search of safety. Six months later, the plight of the 133 who remain hostage in Gaza still haunt the nation.

Aftermath of the Attack

This wasn't a spontaneous outburst of violence; it was a meticulously planned assault targeting not only innocent Israeli civilians, but also Israel's agricultural heartlands, particularly the western Negev, known as Israel's "vegetable barn." The nation now grapples with one of its worst farming crises ever, with spoiled or destroyed food supplies and increased reliance on foreign imports. Restoring the self-sufficiency and innovation that characterised Israeli agriculture before the attack is now an uphill battle.

Wreckage of Eco-Terrorism

Dubbed "eco-terrorism" by Danielle Abraham, executive director of Volcani, this deliberate attack aimed to cripple Israel's agricultural sector, causing losses of over $500 million in income. Hamas destroyed 24 million dollars' worth of equipment, including tractors and irrigation systems, leading to widespread chaos and loss. Livestock perished, with 300,000 chickens killed in Kibbutz Alumin alone. The destruction of high-yield farmland in the Negev further exacerbated the crisis, with farmers unable to harvest their crops just days after the attack.

Kibbutz Resilience

The catastrophic loss in the farming sector has pushed farmers to the brink, adding to the challenge of rebuilding kibbutzim, where farming is central to productivity and community life. Farming is deeply ingrained in the Jewish spirit, symbolizing resilience and attachment to the land. Farmers from Nahal Oz, planting crops under fire, exemplify this spirit, with green sprouts emerging just 700 meters from Gaza.

Shai Fund's Response

In response to this crisis, Shai Fund is mobilizing to aid in the restoration of the agricultural heartland. Assessing priorities across affected communities, the team is coordinating volunteer groups to rebuild irrigation systems, orchards, and livestock housing.

Mission Impact

Through rebuilding farmlands and communities, displaced individuals can return and thrive once again, rejuvenating livelihoods, and fostering innovation. Strengthening Israeli agriculture will create jobs, drive innovation, and enhance food security not only for Israel but also for the entire region.

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