Gaza Border Reality Tour from Jerusalem
Driving from Jerusalem we’ll head out to the Gaza Border area to meet the local Israeli guide. We’ll start with an overview, at the “Siboni lookout” of the northern Gaza-Israel border region near Kibbutz Nir Am. Driving through the area, we’ll view the “Black Arrow” site, see forests and fields burnt by the ‘flaming’ kites and balloons, and view – from a safe distance across the border near Gaza City – one site where the 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.
We will then visit one of the Israeli border communities, Kibbutz Nachal Oz or Kibbutz Sa’ad, and meet with a resident for an open discussion about their fears and hopes while living in a reality that is almost constantly under fire. We continue to a conference room for a seminar about the Gaza-Israel conflict, covering: 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 – the first hour led by the Israeli guide, and the second hour led by an academic or activist Palestinian resident of Gaza, by video or phone call.
Next, we’ll have lunch, alternating each week between a local kibbutz, and Sderot, the growing Israeli border town. In Sderot we’ll have a stop on the rooftop of a Yeshiva for a view of the city and region, meet the spokesman of a Yeshiva, visit the police station with its display of fallen rockets, visit a playground built to withstand rocket blasts, and view up close an ‘Iron Dome’ rocket defense launcher.
Also included is a visit to the Palestinian village ‘Al-Najd’ destroyed in the 1948 war and whose former residents fled to Gaza. Here we talk about the Palestinian narrative of the ‘Nakba’. We’ll visit the Erez border crossing, the only place where citizens of Gaza, for business or medical care, can enter Israel. The day will wrap up with a visit to Netiv Ha’asara, a village on the northern Gaza border, where a local resident will show us the north Gaza border barrier. We’ll partake in placing ceramic tiles in a mosaic, part of the ongoing “Path to Peace” art project aimed at transforming this to a ‘Peace Wall’. Gaza Border Reality Tour from Jerusalem a remarkable experience.
* Customers looking to take part in the tour will have to sign a waiver form prior to departure (the full document can be found here).
- 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 Jerusalem
08:30 – Meet your local guide, intro to the Gaza border region from a lookout point
09:00 – Drive along the Gaza border, stopping at a memorial site of a kibbutz destroyed in the 1948 war.
10:00 – Seminar on the Gaza-Israel issue with Israeli guide and video/ phone conference call with a resident from Gaza
12:00 – Meet with an Israeli resident of one of the border communities
13:00 – Lunch
14:00 – Tour the town of Sderot: police station with rockets, yeshiva rooftop viewpoint, ‘rocket safe’ playground, view “Iron Dome” rocket launcher
15:00 – Visit ruins of an Arab village destroyed in 1948 war
15:45 – Visit the Erez Crossing point where Gaza residents cross into Israel
16:15 – Visit the village of Netiv Ha’asara, viewing the north Gaza-Israel border barrier, and participate in the Paths to Peace project on the wall
17:00 – Tour concludes
19:00 – Arrive back in Jerusalem
NB: All times are approximate and the order of visiting the sites will shift weekly
Good to Know
- Pickup points: Jerusalem - Abraham Hostel Lobby - Davidka Square
- Things to bring: Hat and sunscreen, Water and snacks
- 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).
- Important! Customers looking to take part in the tour will have to sign a waiver form prior to departure
- Guided tour
- Transportation from Jerusalem and back
- Meet a local Israeli resident, as well as a Gaza resident via phone/video
- Lunch (Approx 40 ILS)