In the wake of the devastating and tragic event that unfolded in Israel nearly two weeks ago on Shabbat Simhat Torah, our sister region, Ramat HaNegev, has emerged as a beacon of hope and solidarity.
On October 7, under the cover of a massive rocket barrage, Hamas terrorists breached the Gaza security fence, infiltrated Gaza Envelope communities, and carried out a heinous attack, resulting in over 1400 innocent lives lost and more than 200 individuals taken hostage. The victims of this unspeakable act of violence were a cross-section of Israeli society, spanning from infants to elderly Holocaust survivors, and tearing apart, or simply erasing, entire families.
Since that fateful day, Hamas terrorists have continued to launch rocket attacks on cities across Israel, creating a constant and looming threat. The impact of these relentless attacks has been staggering, with over 300,000 Israelis finding themselves internally displaced, seeking refuge and safety.
In the midst of this turmoil, Ramat HaNegev has stepped forward to provide not only refuge but also essential support to those affected. With its 8,000 residents spread across 20 villages, Ramat HaNegev opened its doors to 2000 evacuees from the Gaza Envelope. They have extended a helping hand by offering places to sleep, beds, linens, clothes, toiletries, food, security, and much-needed psychological care. Their compassion and resilience have been nothing short of extraordinary.
Tragically, among the victims of the Hamas attack on October 7th, were 19 Negev Bedouin who were both civilians and members of the Israel Defense Forces. This heart-wrenching event has forged a unique bond of blood between these two communities that has expressed itself in unprecedented levels of mutual support.
To fortify these vital efforts, the US-based Negev Foundation has initiated an Emergency Appeal to raise funds for Ramat HaNegev. Contributions can be made via their website: https://www.negev.org/. This is an opportunity for our community to stand in solidarity with our friends and family in Ramat HaNegev, and it will go a long way in assisting the healing and recovery process for those who need it most.