Gaza Border Reality Tour from Tel Aviv
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.
- 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
- DAY TOUR
07:00 – Depart from Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv with a pre-booked taxi and a self-paid train ticket
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
Good to Know
- Pickup points: Tel Aviv Abraham Hostel Lobby
- Things to bring: hat & sunscreen, water & snacks, money for transportation (approx. 50 ILS)
- Modest Clothing: Due to modesty requirements when visiting a local Yeshiva, you will need to wear clothing that covers the knees, shoulders and arms - shirt or shawl (men and women).
- Customers looking to take part in the tour will have to sign a waiver form prior to departure
- Guided tour
- Meet a local Israeli resident, as well as a Gaza resident via phone/video
- Lunch (Approx 45 ILS)
- Transportation from Tel Aviv & back (Approx 50 ILS)
Is this tour safe?
This tour is led by a local of the area, and we are always up to date on current affairs and will of course not run the tour if it is unsafe at a given time.
How and where do we meet the tour guide?
The tour guide is waiting for you at HaHagana train station in Tel Aviv. You arrive there with a pre-booked taxi that picks you up from our hostel in Tel Aviv.