Neve Zohar
Moshav Ein Tamar
Moshav Neot Ha’Kikar

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    War is not just a battle on the fields of contention, but behind the scenes are people whose lives have been turned upside down and people who have stood up to face the problems and difficulties …


    The Dead Sea is alive and abundant with people milling around and enjoying the last remaining days of summer. The temperatures are still at 30+ , the swimming pools are still splashing and waving, the sea is still salty and inviting everyone to experience that famous floating sensation. But … the reason is far from a happy one. The reason, as the entire globe is aware, is because tens of thousands of people in the State of Israel have been evacuated from their homes because of the threat of rockets being fired on the roofs of their houses. So the Tamar Regional Council as well as many other local governments across the country have opened the doors or every spare hotel room, B&B, rental apartments, caravans and even tents. Families, children, youth and pensioners alike have fled their familiar and well-loved corners of their country to find peace and solice from the terrors of this war.

    Approximately, 15,000 evacuees are currently residing in the hotels at Ein Bokek and Ein Gedi as well as in the B&B’s, campsites of Neot HaKikar and Ein Tamar. Children have spent the past three weeks, traumatized from the events of 7th October, living in temporary accommodation (many of them in one room with their parents and/or grandpartents and even with their pets), no playstation, no mummy’s cooking, no smell of their familiar laundry, no favourite brand of food, just a roof over their heads, a meal of no choice, a thousand other neighbours, thin walls that don’t drown out noise, no schooling (that they are probably happy about) and most of them separated from their friends. Then there are the parents; worried, scared, bewildered, feeling responsible for their loved ones but also feeling the helplessness of really caring for them, separated from the elderly parents, some authomatically unemployed, entreperneurs trying to keep small businesses afloat by remote control, in a hotel room with their children and pets, no intimacy, no quiet time, no good times.

    Until now the Tamar Regional Council has been responsibile for 1500 permanent residents, six communities spread over 70 square miles. On the 7th October that status changed dramatically. Ein Bokek, the hotel resort has now become a town. Thousands of displaced families have been placed across the Tamar region and the support system has had to triple: waste disposal, electricity, water, (just think of the laundry!!!!) drainage. The food deliveries have slowed down quite considerably due to lack of manpower but the requirements have tripled!!!

    Security is of utmost importance, despite the perception of peace, quiet, solitude, remoteness. This is not a time to complacent. Young people (from the 300,00 that have been called up) have given up their day to day lives and become soldiers once again. Being in the reserves is not really reserves. They are all active in one way or another. Here they are protecting our region, patrolling fences, keeping an eye on the neighbours – Jordan, Jericho – 24/7. To them we are eternally grateful. We are also grateful for the uprising of the amazing people of this country. Volunteering is something that is every considered for a second. Here is a way of life, an automatic reaction to any crisis. The people of this country know how to look after each other. Entertainment for the evacuees – volunteers, collecting humanitarian requirements – volunteers, a shoulder to cry on – volunteers, an ear to listen – volunteers, a babysitter – volunteers, a dog sitter – volunteers, extra teachers – volunteers, story tellers – volunteers, sports activities – volunteers. There is absolutely no end to the good will that is second nature to the people of this country. Without them Israel would not stand.

    We are all praying for an end to this debacle. But in the meantime, life does go on here, not only at Tamar but also in The State of Israel.