The JNF is quickly working ahead of the Shmita year to rehabilitate the green landscape surrounding Gaza, which was heavily damaged by Hamas rocket fire.

The rockets fired by Gazan terrorists at Israel during Operation Protective Edge have left in their wake much destruction and carnage. Thankfully, few Israelis were harmed by these rockets, but in many cases these rockets fell in open spaces, destroying the landscape and ruining the green life.

The Jewish National Fund (JNF), which works year-round to develop the Land of Israel with a loving touch and to strengthen the bond between the Jewish people and its homeland, have taken upon themselves the task of rehabilitating the landscape near the Gaza Strip.

A JNF spokesperson explained that the fire damage in the area is significant and extensive. The area in the past was full of greenery and is now scorched. After surveying the damage, the JNF decided to launch an expeditious operation to reinstate the area to its lost beauty. The cost of this project is estimate at 30 million NIS.

The Shmita year is on the horizon, during which all planting in the Land of Israel is prohibited according to Jewish law, and so the first phase of the operation is to plant as many trees as possible before Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). Twelve acres of trees have already been planted in the Be’eri forest, and the JNF crews intend to continue their work in the Kisufim area.

Trees against Missiles

Part of the train line in the south had been shut down during Operation Protective Edge due to the missile threat posed by Hamas terrorists. Shortly after the implementation of the ceasefire, Israel discovered a pioneering solution – the planting of trees along the exposed tracks, thus serving as a green shield against the missile threat.

Israel’s Train Authority and the Ministry of Defense had been searching for a solution to the hazard that would not harm the natural landscape. After consulting with experts, they came up with this ecological innovation, which was similarly used in the past to obscure roads near the Gaza Strip that were under threat. Thousands of trees along the routes hide Israeli motorists from Palestinian sniper and missile fire.

Author: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel