War-torn kibbutz on Gaza border renovated with help from JNF UK
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War-torn kibbutz on Gaza border renovated with help from JNF UK

More than 500 volunteers descended on Kibbutz Kerem Shalom in a project funded, initiated and coordinated by the British Jewish charity

JNF volunteers help renovate the kibbutz
JNF volunteers help renovate the kibbutz

With the help of funding from British Jews, Israeli soldiers have transformed a war-torn kibbutz near the Gaza border.

More than 500 volunteers descended onto Kerem Shalom, as JNF UK in collaboration with elite units of the IDF restored a local community in the crossfire of conflict.

Kibbutz Kerem Shalom was founded in 1967, but has in recent years has felt the impact of war, terror infiltration and rocket attacks. In 2006 Corporal Gilad Shalit was abducted from near the kibbutz, while in 2008, it was hit with a mortar strike on its electricity infrastructure and, in recent months, incendiary kite attacks have plagued the community.

Taking place in late August, the renovation occurred after the UK charity answered a call for help from the southern Israeli community.

JNF UK funded, initiated and coordinated the project with the Israeli army, that saw extensive gardening and painting work, as well as restoration work on the life-saving rocket shelters.

IDF soldiers join JNF volunteers as they renovate the kibbutz

Samuel Hayek, JNF UK Chairman, said the organisation “is determined to show unity and solidarity with the citizens of Kerem Shalom, and is hugely proud of the efforts of those involved in the recent Renewal Day.

“With great resolve, we will continue to work tirelessly – across both the Negev region and further afield – to help all Israelis and communities in need.”

A solider In an elite IDF unit, said: “Each day we protect the country on the front lines, and on weekends our hearts bring us back here to Kerem Shalom – because that’s where we feel we are needed most. This is modern day pioneering”.

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