Hamas Attack Halts Western Negev Agriculture; Jewish Federations of North America Steps in with $12.5 Million Grants

JFNA to support Western Negev farmers in rebuilding their farms following Hamas attack

The Western Negev, known for its thriving agriculture industry, was hit hard by an unprecedented attack by Hamas terrorists on October 7. The destruction and looting of farming infrastructure has left farmers and kibbutzim struggling to rebuild after suffering significant financial losses. In response to this crisis, the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) is stepping in to provide grants of up to $12.5 million to help these farmers quickly replace their equipment and resume farming in time for the spring planting season.

The farms in the western Negev have long been a source of pride for Israelis and Diaspora Jews, as they transformed the desert into a thriving garden that supplied a large portion of Israel’s vegetables, fruits, milk, and other products. However, during the recent attack by Hamas terrorists on October 7, farming infrastructure was targeted and destroyed. Militants looted and damaged everything from irrigation pipes and computers to tractors and specialized equipment, in an attempt to undermine the identity and economy of the western Negev and Israel’s food security.

Despite the destruction, farmers like Moran Freibach from Kibbutz Nahal Oz remain resilient and determined to rebuild. JFNA recognizes the importance of revitalizing agriculture in the Western Negev after these attacks and is proud to be able to support this effort through grants awarded in partnership with ReGrow, a project of the Israeli Agricultural Research Institute Machon Volkani and the Mishkei HaNegev cooperative association.

Rebeca Caspi, senior vice president of JFNA emphasized that rebuilding agriculture is critical not only for economic reasons but also as a symbol of victory over those who seek to destroy it. With JFNA’s support, farmers will be able to quickly replace their equipment and resume farming in time for the spring planting season, ensuring that the fields will once again be green as a symbol of hope for Israelis and Diaspora Jews alike.

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