Is­rael Tour or­gan­is­ers prom­ise safe pas­sage

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

IS­RAEL TOUR or­gan­i­sa­tions in the UK have moved to re­as­sure par­ents that their teenage chil­dren will be safe de­spite the es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence.

UJIA Is­rael Ex­pe­ri­ence, which co­or­di­nates tours for more than 1,200 young Jews from move­ments in­clud­ing Bnei Akiva, FZY, Habonim Dror, RSYNet­zer and Noam, said it was in reg­u­lar con­tact with par­ents and was giv­ing the sit­u­a­tion its full at­ten­tion.

Rocket at­tacks launched on Is­rael by Pales­tinian ter­ror­ist groups in Gaza in­creased through­out the week. The Iron Dome mis­sile sys­tem shot down the ma­jor­ity of rock­ets, and no se­ri­ous in­juries had been re­ported in Is­rael by Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

There are al­ready 270 Bri­tish tour par­tic­i­pants in Is­rael, mak­ing up eight of the 24 groups due there this sum­mer. The re­main­ing 1,240 stu­dents are due to de­part this month.

David Gold­berg, UJIA com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor, said: “There is a wellestab­lished and ro­bust in­fra­struc­ture sup­port­ing all as­pects of Is­rael tour, honed over decades of ex­pe­ri­ence.

“All ac­tiv­i­ties are sub­ject to daily ap­proval by Cheder Mat­sav, Is­rael’s sit­u­a­tion room, and the itin­er­ar­ies for each group are amended if nec­es­sary.”

He said tour lead­ers had re­ceived ex­ten­sive se­cu­rity train­ing be­fore tak­ing the stu­dents abroad.

Emu­nah, which works with Is­raeli chil­dren in schools, care homes and coun­selling cen­tres, said it was tak­ing on more staff at a cen­tre in Sderot, close to the Gaza bor­der.

Bri­tish Emu­nah launched an emer­gency ap­peal on Tues­day. Di­rec­tor Deb­o­rah Nathan said: “Emu­nah’s vi­tal ser­vices are stretched to cope and to give the chil­dren and fam­i­lies in Is­rael the sup­port they need at this dif­fi­cult time.”

Bnei Akiva’s Bri­tish branch led calls for the head of the global youth move­ment to be sacked af­ter he de­manded re­venge for the mur­der of three Is­raeli teenagers. Rabbi Noam Perel, World Bnei Akiva gen­eral sec­re­tary, made the in­cen­di­ary com­ments fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of the bod­ies of Gi­lad Sha’ar, Naf­tali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach last week.

He wrote on Face­book that the Is­raeli army should “take the foreskins of 300 Pales­tini­ans” in ret­ri­bu­tion. The com­ment was a ref­er­ence to the bi­b­li­cal ret­ri­bu­tion King David took against the Philistines.

BA of­fi­cials were due to meet on Wed­nes­day to dis­cuss his fu­ture, but no de­ci­sion had been an­nounced as the JC went to press. Bri­tish stu­dents threat­ened to pull out of the global group if dis­ci­plinary ac­tion was not taken against Rabbi Perel.

PHOTO: TWIT­TER/MAAYAN SIMHONI

People at a Tel Aviv bus stop duck as a siren sounds

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