18 de mar. de 2005

New School Dedicated in Jewish Gaza

Inaugurating a new school in Netzarim, as thousands flock to Gush Katif to join in prayer and fasting, symbolizes unwavering dedication to building the Land of Israel for the Jewish People.

A new school building was dedicated Thursday afternoon Netzarim at a ceremony attended by Knesset Members and representatives of the Education Ministry.
Over 150 children from Netzarim from first to eighth grades study in the school.

Netzarim, a relatively isolated Jewish community north of Gush Katif, is one of the 25 towns slated for destruction this summer in Prime Minister Sharon's evacuation/transfer plan. The residents, imbued with conviction, are far from giving up - and the new school is just one of the proofs.

Taking part in the school dedication ceremony were MKs Mickey Ratzon and Michael Gorolovsky of the Likud party, Yitzchak Levy of the National Religious party, and National Union MKs Benny Elon, Aryeh Eldad and others. Simcha Shneior, Assistant Director-General for School Construction, and Meir Sabag, a regional supervisor, represented the Education Ministry.

Also in attendance was regional IDF Commander Brig.-Gen. Aviv Kokhavi, who is planning to take an active role in expelling the residents several months from now. "He apparently lives in contradiction," said Netzarim resident Efrat Tawil. "On the one hand, he understands our strong beliefs, while at the same time he is loyal to army orders."

Efrat runs the afternoon Talmud Torah study program in Netzarim, and her husband, Rabbi Tzion Tawil, is the town's rabbi.

"We don't have our heads in the sand," Efrat told Arutz-7 today. "We know what's going on outside - but we also know that five months in Jewish history is a very long time. Many things can happen. My 8th-grade daughter was asked, 'So what are you going to do in five months' time?' and she said, "That's around Rosh HaShanah time. Have you already started making your Rosh HaShanah purchases?'...

"The children know, as we do, that they have gone through a lot here, with Kassams and the like, and that there is absolutely no reason for us to leave. Our job is to live in this Land, and to continue to do what we can to guarantee our presence. They also know that they have strong parents backing them up... Just like the pioneers at Tel Chai in northern Israel 80 years ago didn't give up, and thus kept the northern Galilee for Israel, we too have a mission, in accordance with Torah and Zionism."

"We produce 25% of Israel's cherry tomatoes," Rabbanit Tawil said, "and we also produce pure souls that are willing to struggle for the ideals that are important to them."

Currently, close to 80 families live in Netzarim - including 15 that moved in over the past year. Many families are completing the second floors on their homes in order to meet the growing demand of families that, even now, wish to move in.

The project to provide a permanent structure for Netzarim’s school children was originally initiated by none other than Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. On a visit to the town a number of years ago, he witnessed the damage that mortar shells had done to the temporary structures that made up the school’s buildings. The funding for the project was approved by then-Education Minister Amnon Rubinstein, one of the founders of the Shinui party.

The new building is made out of specially re-inforced concrete to protect the students and teachers from the mortars and Kassam rockets that have frequently been fired at the town by Arab terrorist gangs operating in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

The construction project also provided a boost to the local Gush Katif economy. The pre-fabricated structure was manufactured at a local plant owned by Diurim, a company based in N'vei Dekalim.

The ceremony was reduced in scope, as it coincides with the day of introspection, fasting, and prayer that has been called in Israel and around the world. Thousands of people are on their way this afternoon to N'vei Dekalim, in Gush Katif, to take part in the spiritual efforts to overturn the government’s expulsion decree. Well over 100 buses, including some owned by Bedouin from the south, have been hired; potential participants from Jerusalem were told, "Sorry, there are no more buses to be had."

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