Get a better understanding of the Gaza-Israel conflict, the challenges and possible solutions.
- Lookout points and historical sites along the northern Gaza-Israel border
- Meet Israeli residents in communities on the border and speak by video or phone with a Gaza resident
- Visit both an active Israeli Kibbutz, as well as a Palestinian village destroyed by the 1948 war
- View up close a Gaza border crossing point
- Take part in a special art project happening on the Gaza border wall - ‘Paths to Peace’ project
- 07:00 - Depart from Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv via public transportation with the guide
- 08:30 - Meet your local guide, start tour at the Erez Crossing checkpoint, where Gaza residents cross into Israel, talking with either Gaza merchants or Bedouin drivers
- 09:30 - Drive along the Gaza border, intro to the Gaza border region from the 'Sibboni lookout' and/or the 'Black Arrow' memorial site
- 11:30 - Seminar on the Gaza-Israel issue with Israeli guide and video conference call with Gaza residents
- 12:30 - Lunch
- 13:30 - Drive along Gaza border, through agricultural fields, viewing one of the neighborhoods of Gaza City and stopping at a memorial site of a kibbutz destroyed in the 1948 war.
- 15:00 - Tour the town of Sderot: police station with rockets, yeshiva rooftop viewpoint, ‘rocket safe’ playground, view “Iron Dome” rocket launcher
- 16:15- Visit ruins of an Arab village destroyed in 1948 war
- 17:00 - Visit the village of Netiv Ha’asara, meet a local resident for presentation, view the Gaza-Israel border barrier, and participate in the Paths to Peace art project on the wall
- 18:00 - Tour concludes, you are dropped at the train station with instructions on how to return to Tel Aviv
- 19:30 - Arrive back in Tel Aviv
- NB: All times are approximate and the order of visiting the sites will shift weekly
Leaving by train from Tel Aviv, we’ll head to the Gaza Border area along with the local Israeli guide. We’ll meet up with the group from Jerusalem and will start with a visit to the Erez border crossing, the only place where citizens of Gaza, for business or medical care, can enter Israel, talking with either a Gaza resident entering Israel, or one of their Bedouin drivers.
Next we’ll drive an overview of the northern Gaza-Israel border region either at the “Sibboni lookout” near Kibbutz Nir Am, and or also the “Black Arrow” site. From there we’ll see an overview of southern Israel, Ashkelon to Sderot, and into northern Gaza- the border, Beit Hanun, Beit Lahia, Jabalya and Gaza City.
We will then visit an Israeli border community, Kibbutz Sa’ad, visit the synagogue there and in a meet in a conference room for a short seminar about the Gaza-Israel conflict. We’ll speak on video by Skype with Gaza City residents. Through the day and in the seminar we’ll cover: the history of Gaza, the 1948 and ‘67 wars, refugees, the Intifadas, The Oslo Accords, The Disengagement, the 2008, ’12 and ’14 wars, Hamas, Fatah, Egypt relations, the “siege” and suffering of Gaza’s population, ceasefire talks, and more.
Next we’ll have lunch, alternating each week between Kibbutz Sa’ad, and Sderot, the growing Israeli border town.
From Saad we’ll drive through the agricultural fields around Nachal Oz, viewing border and the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City – where weekly ‘Great March of Return’ protests and clashes take place. At the site of the religious Kibbutz Be’erot Yitzhak that was destroyed in the ’48 war, we’ll learn the Israeli narrative of settlement and sacrifice in the northern Negev when creating the borders of the future state and view the now closed Karni Crossing cargo terminal.
In Sderot we’ll visit the police station with its display of fallen rockets, we’ll climb the rooftop of the ‘Hesder Yeshiva’ to see the rocket sculptures and an overview of the city, visit a “rocket safe” playground and view up close an ‘Iron Dome’ rocket defense launcher.
Then, we’ll visit to the Palestinian village ‘Al-Najd’ destroyed in the 1948 war and whose former residents fled to Gaza. Here we’ll discuss the Palestinian narrative of the ’48 war and the ‘Nakba’.
The day will wrap up with a visit to Netiv Ha’asara, a ‘moshav’ village on the northern Gaza border, where a local resident will do a presentation about how their community lives with frequent rocket fire, then show us the north Gaza border barrier. We’ll partake in the “Paths to Peace” art project, placing ceramic tiles on the wall, transforming it from a defensive to a ‘peace’ wall.
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