United with Israel supporters enabled the delivery of two desperately needed bomb shelters to a school in southern Israel. UWI has now installed a total of 12 bomb shelters for children in unprotected areas.
United with Israel supporters have responded again, this month, to the urgent need for bomb shelters in the south of Israel, which continues to suffer ongoing rocket attacks notwithstanding the announcement of a truce last year following Operation Pillar of Defense.
The purchase of two bell shelters for a new school dormitory was made through Operation Lifeshield, which was launched in 2007 by grassroots Israeli citizens in response to the Second Lebanon War, when northern residents were fleeing rocket attacks. United with Israel has since helped to place many shelters throughout the country.
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This latest delivery consists of two shelters for Kibbutz Karmiya, located south of the city of Ashkelon and approximately two miles north of Gaza. The shelters are designated specifically to the Eden Residential School campus on the kibbutz serving at-risk teenage girls who had suffered violence and abuse.
Eden “is an oasis,” says Shmuel Bowman, Operation Lifeshield’s co-founder and executive director. “Without it, they would be on the streets.”
So near to Gaza, residents in the area have literally seven seconds to reach a shelter when – and if – the red alert is sounded, he explains.
Shelters were already situated on campus. However, the school, which currently accommodates about 40 girls, has a long waiting list and, therefore, a new dormitory was donated – a caravilla, which could house another 15 students, but only if it has a shelter on both ends.
“United with Israel, through donations from its supporters, has donated two bomb shelters, which will allow use of the new facility,” Bowman affirms. Only recently, “three Code Red sirens went off, so these shelters are saving lives as well as bringing comfort on a day-to-day basis.”
The continued need for shelters is nonetheless ongoing. Bowman notes that only half of the elementary schools in Ashkelon are fortified, and Netivot, an economically depressed town in the region, “is a disaster.”
“One million Israelis are affected by the threat of rockets from Gaza,” Bowman declares. “They live in a 40-km. radius from the border with Gaza, so there is still a lot of work to be done.”
His concern is substantiated by the official Israel Defense Forces blog, which recently published that “rocket fire from Gaza is a constant threat facing Israel’s civilians.”
“Today, Hamas is producing its own rockets, namely the M-75, which can reach as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,” the blog states.
Furthermore, “since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, terrorists have fired more than 8,000 rockets into Israel. Over 3.5-million Israelis are currently living under threat of rockets….
“More than half a million Israelis have less than 60 seconds to find shelter after a rocket is launched from Gaza into Israel. Most rockets launched from Gaza into Israel are capable of reaching Israel’s biggest southern cities.”
“United with Israel has been an ongoing supporter of our work,” he states . “The support they have shown time and time again has helped us to deliver accessible bomb shelters to communities threatened by rocket attacks on a day-to-day basis, such as in the Gaza belt and up north near the Lebanon border.”
“The real story,” he states, “is that United with Israel is doing on good deed on top of another.”