Zoom in on Shatil South

24 July 2014

About a quarter of SHATIL’s staff lives in southern Israel and is under constant threat of rocket attacks. That our staff continues to work despite constant anxiety and, for some of them, also during a fast, speaks volumes about their dedication to the issues. Here are a few voices from our southern branch, some of whom are working remotely during the crisis:

“When will this end? How much more can we take? We finally fall asleep, and jump out of bed to the siren’s wail at 3 a.m. We worry about every friend and family member – did they make it to the shelter safely? We’re constantly comforting crying children, explaining why we can’t go to the playground. People are afraid to leave their homes. The streets are empty, the stores desolate. Even when it’s quiet, the quiet is a heavy one and I don’t know what’s better – this heavy quiet or the frightening sirens…It’s terrible and paralyzing and I see myself sinking. We long for quiet.” – Ayala Haziz, SHATIL Negev office manager

“It’s so hard for the Negev Bedouin because of the lack of sirens, shelters, and other emergency infrastructure. On Shabbat, Awda Alwiej, 32, was killed from a rocket and his baby daughter, sister, and wife were injured while preparing an iftar [Ramadan break-fast meal] for his family near Dimona. Sultan [Sultan Abu Obaid is the Director of SHATIL Be’er Sheva] and I went to the funeral and we are organizing a condolence visit to the family. Everyone is trying to figure out how to protect their families. I also have relatives in Gaza; it’s hard to see all the suffering. The discourse in the media is also hard on us. We talk about a shared society but then we see the reality….” Amir Abu Kweider, Bedouin community organizer

“Despite everything that is going on, I feel there is hope. I believe that from this very difficult place, positive things can grow. It’s very hard to see things with hope today, but I’m sure we’ll succeed.” – Avi Dabush, Director of programs