JNF-USA Supported Resilience Centers and Firefighters Ramp Up in Face of Attacks

Eshkol Region, Israel, May 10, 2021 — Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) funded firewagons, Rapid Action Fire Vehicles, and local Resilience Centers kicked into action on Monday evening (Israel time) after 70 rockets and a wave of incendiary ‘terror balloons’ from Gaza targeted Israeli communities in the Eshkol Region and Gaza Envelope.


Fire 5-10

Credit: Amnon Ziv


Eshkol Council Security Officer Ilan Isaacson said: “In the last few hours, the Council's security personnel, together with the fire brigade, have dealt with seven fires that broke out in the council's area. Investigations are underway to determine the cause of the fires. Thanks to the effective cooperation between all of the agencies involved, full control of all the fires was achieved quickly and only minor damage was done to a wheat field.”


Chair of JNF-USA’s Gaza Envelope Task Force Betsy Fischer said: “The return of the incendiary balloons and rocket attacks in southern Israel are nothing less than disturbing and heartbreaking. Members of our Gaza Envelope Task Force are in touch with our friends and family in the region, and we hear firsthand and in real-time how scary life is for them right now. We are determined to continue our support for the region - not only because the blast-proof safe spaces we have built provide shelter for community operations and personal counseling, but also because the residents of the Gaza Envelope know that they are not alone. They feel our support and our concern and understand that JNF-USA is with them.”


Update from JNF-USA resilience center


School classes and all informal education activities scheduled to take place on Tuesday in the Gaza Envelope and Eshkol Region have been canceled.


Director of Eshkol Region Community Centers, Michal Uziyahu said: “We have had a rough day after the unrest in Jerusalem. As usual, we were the first ones to receive the ‘outcomes’ of the security situation. We had a lot of rocket attacks [over the course of] this evening. At the same time, a lot of fires were ignited around our area. We are here in the Eshkol Region’s Headquarters…our [JNF-USA] resilience center just opened its hotline for anyone who needs support and we sent out instructions for the community….to reduce the uncertainty and for them to know what to expect tomorrow.”


Fires 5-10 1

Credit: Amnon Ziv


JNF-USA Spokesperson Yael Levontin added: "Today, my family and I huddled in our safe room as rockets from Gaza flew nearby. Children in the street were shielded by their parents while those who could ran to the nearest safe room or bomb shelter. Everyone had to find shelter in a matter of seconds.”


JNF-USA supports resilience centers, housing site development infrastructure, fortified playgrounds, and medical centers throughout the Gaza Envelope and Eshkol Region to strengthen local communities.


JNF-USA Professionals, Fire & Rescue Task Force, Sara Hefez and Josh Mellits added: “Thanks to the leadership of JNF-USA’s Fire & Rescue Taskforce Co-Chairs, Mark Egerman and Penny Rosen, Israel’s firefighters have the right equipment to help them in situations like this when there is an increase in fires caused by incendiary balloons.”


To support Israel’s firefighters, visit jnf.org/firefighting. For more information about JNF-USA’s Fire & Rescue Task Force, contact Sara Hefez at shefez@jnf.org or 617.423.0999 x811.




Stefan Oberman

212.879.9305 x 222


About Jewish National Fund-USA

JNF-USA is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation building activities in Israel’s north and south. Through its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, JNF-USA is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel, and creating infrastructure and programs that support ecology, individuals with special needs, and heritage site preservation.