Ein Gedi Botanic Garden

Ein Gedi Botanic Garden
Seek the serenity of a Judean Desert sky in Autumn at the Ein Gedi Botanic Garden

Monday, July 07, 2014

Guide to Targeted Southern Israeli Regional Councils

July 7, 2014 - It’s amazing to hear just how much Israeli radio personalities can talk without saying one blessed thing.

In the space of an entire four-hour shift, for instance, the only bit of substance I actually heard today was a casual mention that there had been a Color Red alert in such-and-such regional council district, and that this kind of thing really does affect all of us no matter where it is. Period.

Incidentally, the impact of the rocket attacks now reaches from one end of the country to the other because at this point, the Arab violence on the ground has already spread. No part of the country is immune.

The Syrians have fired a few mortar shells across the border at Israelis in the Golan Heights to express their solidarity with Arabs further south.  

Israeli Arabs are very busy doing the same – well, not with mortars because after all, they don’t have those yet -- but certainly with whatever they can get their hands on. Rocks, boulders, cinder blocks, firebombs (Molotov cocktails to readers in the United States), burning tires (wow, those really stink) and you name it, they seem to have it.

And they hurl it at us, and at our moving vehicles, whether buses or private cars. Even the Bedouin in the northeastern Negev are joining in, for the first time since the last intifada, as a matter of fact: police were forced to shut down the major artery leading from Arad to Be’er Sheva last night, Route 31, thanks to road terror attacks by Bedouin rock attacks. They were hurling rocks and cinder blocks all along the road from the Bedouin town of Hura, and around Kuseifa, all the way up to the outskirts of Arad.  Many of the Bedouin residents in those two town are intermarried with Palestinian Authority Arabs in Hebron. One can see the impact of that influence; it is also a known fact there are terrorist cells in both towns.

In nearly every bit of local news coverage here in Israel, one also knows eventually when or where the rockets or mortar shells explode. They do not yet reach to the eastern Negev. But the western Negev has long been a target. 

“Color Red siren activated in XXX Regional Council district....” etc.

But most folks outside of those districts have no idea which towns or villages are actually located within those regional councils the Gaza terrorists love to hit.

So here’s a quick primer to enlighten the uneducated.

Eshkol Regional Council

Located in the northwestern Negev, this district is located midway between the coastal port city of Ashkelon and the ‘capital city of the Negev,’ Be’er Sheva. To its west is Gaza and to its east is the Bnei Shimon Regional Council.

There are 11 kibbutzim in Eshkol: Be’eri, Ein HaShlosha, Gvulot, Magen, Nir Oz, Nir Yitzchak, Nirim, Holit, Kerem Shalom, Kissufim and Re’im.  

In addition, 10 moshavim are located within the district: Amioz, Ein HaBesor, Dekel, Mivtahim, Ohad, Peri Gan, Sde Nitzan, Sde Avraham, Talmei Eliyahu and Talmei Yosef. 

Three other communities make their home in Eshkol as well: Avshalom, Tzochar and Shlomit.

Hof Ashkelon Regional Council

The Ashkelon Coastal Regional Council is located in Israel’s southern district, bordered to the north by the Be’er Tuvia Regional Council. On its long eastern border, the Be’er Tuvia, Lakhish, Shafir and Yoav Regional Councils are located, and it is bounded on the south by the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council and by Gaza. To its west, the city of Ashkelon and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. 

This regional council covers five kibbutzim, 11 moshavim, two villages and a youth village. They include the following:

Kibbutzim: Gevaram, Karmiya, Nitzanim, Yad Mordechai (producer of famed jams, jellies and olive oil), Zikim

Moshavim: Beit Shikma, Berechiya, Ge’a, Heletz, Hodia, Kochav Michael, Mashen, Mavki’im, Nir Yisrael, Netiv Ha’asara, Talmei Yafeh

Villages: Bat Hadar, Nitzan
Youth Village: Kfar Silver

Sdot Negev Regional Council

Formerly known as the Azata Regional Council, this district is located in the northwestern Negev. 

Located within this district is the city of Netivot, home to the tomb of the famed Moroccan Sephardic kabbalist, Rabbi Israel Abuhatzeira, the Baba Sali. Approximately 26,750 residents live in the city.

Other communities located in this district include two kibbutzim:  Kibbutz Sa’ad and Kibbutz Alumim; 12 moshavim: Beit HaGadi, Givolim, Kfar Maimon, Mlilot, Sharsheret, Shibolim, Shokeda, Shuva, Tkuma, Yoshivia, Zru’a and Zimrat; and two villages: Magalim and Tushia.

Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council

This district is also located in the northwestern Negev, bounded on the west by Gaza and on the east by the Bnei Shimon Regional Council. More than 6,000 people live in the district.

Within this district lies the famed city of Sderot, which is located barely one mile from the border with Gaza. The city, which hosts Sapir College, has been pummeled unmercifully by rocket attacks from that region since Israel’s 2005 Disengagement from Gaza.

Sha’ar HaNegev (Hebrew for Gate to the Negev) is also home to 10 kibbutzim and one moshav. Kibbutzim Bror Hayil, Dorot, Erez, Gavem, Kfar Aza, Mefalsim, Nahal Oz, Nir Am, Or HaNer and Ruhama; and Moshav Yachini.

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