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Kfar Azza


The kibbutz was founded in August 1951 by Jewish refugees from Egypt and Morocco and is located on the border with Gaza. During the massacre on October 7, Kfar Azza was one of the most devastated places. More than sixty civilians were murdered and many were abducted. Houses and cars were destroyed with bazookas or set on fire. Six months later, it is a gloomy and devastated site where no one lives anymore, with an uncertain future, a kind of living museum. A visit here can only be made with special permission or in the company of a former local.

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Nova Festival


The Supernova Sukkot Gathering open-air festival was held near Re'im, at the end of the annual Feast of Tabernacles. It is an alternative cultural festival for "friends, love and infinite freedom". On the morning of October 7th, 2023, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel. Terrorists entered the site with pick-ups, motorcycles, quads and motorized paragliders. The air raid shelters became death traps. 364 people were killed, raped, mutilated and burned; around forty were kidnapped and many more injured. Six months later, the whole site looks like a huge cemetery with pictures of the murdered, flowers, flags and some with stories. A little further away, trees have been planted for the fallen.

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Kerem Shalom


The name Kerem Shalom was given to the kibbutz, because when it was founded, the members thought, that this place would play a role in brokering peace between the Palestinians and Israel. The kibbutz is located 30 meters from the border with the Gaza Strip and 300 meters from Egypt. A special characteristic of the kibbutz was, that both secular and religious Jews lived here. During the Hamas terror attack, the kibbutz was able to defend itself relatively successfully compared to others: only 2 members of the kibbutz emergency force were killed. Six months after the attack, all residents are still evacuated.

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Platz der Geiseln


Hostage Square is located near the Tel Aviv Art Museum. Since the Hamas attack on Israel, the relatives of the kidnapped have been gathering here. Artistic installations convey the pain, posters with pictures and names of the hostages hang everywhere. In the middle of the square is a Shabbat table divided into two halves. The first 100 seats are beautifully laid out - they are for those released in November. The second section is filled with bottles of undrinkable brown water and flatbread. Instead of chairs, there are cement blocks and barbed wire. Six months later, these are a reminder of the hostages who are still imprisoned. Next to it, an artist has recreated a tunnel used by Hamas terrorists, sparsely lit inside, and the sound of gunfire can be heard constantly. The entire Rothschild Boulevard is lined with posters and other symbols commemorating the hostages.

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IDF Soldaten am Nova Gelände

SOLDIERS OF THE IDF (Israel Defence Forces)

IDF Israel Defense Forces. "Defense is our mission - security is our goal." The IDF was founded in 1948. Large founding contingents came from the former underground organizations Haganah and Palmach during the time of the British Mandate. Today, around 173,000 men and women (approx. 33%) serve in the IDF. In addition, around 450,000 reservists are available in case of emergency. The IDF is regarded as the "army of the people" and the "school of the nation". It plays an important role in education, the linguistic and social integration of new immigrants and the cohesion of different ethnic groups. Many marriages and business relationships can be traced back to contacts made during military service! The mission of the IDF: "Our mission is to defend the existence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the State of Israel, to protect the inhabitants of Israel and to fight all forms of terrorism that threaten everyday life".

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Jerusalem remained outwardly unscathed on October 7th. But the numerous terrorist attacks and the current threat characterize the atmosphere in the city, as well as the fear for the soldiers at the front and the mourning for the murdered, killed and kidnapped. In Tel Aviv, the pain was very loud, here it is quieter, but can still be felt everywhere. Already Ben Gurion airport seemed deserted. Apart from us only 4 other people without an Israeli passport were traveling that evening. Much of the city feels unreal. The smiles have disappeared from many faces. The streets and squares are empty, and the large area in front of the Western Wall is also lonely without people. Instead, there are signs everywhere on the walls, that didn't exist in the past, pointing to shelters. After dusk, there are hardly any people on the streets, the atmosphere is oppressive. Even the once bustling, lively alleyways of the bazaar are empty, as are many hotels and restaurants, many of which have closed. In addition, GPS jamming occurs to misdirect rocket attacks, reminding of the constant threat posed by Hezbollah and Iran. Despite all its resilience, Israel's open wounds have been bleeding for months and are draining the country's vitality: the unfinished battle against Hamas, the cruel losses and the suffering of the hostages.

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Iran-Israeli relations : During the Islamic Revolution, Iran broke off all contact with Israel. All treaties that had been concluded between the two countries in the past were annulled by order of the revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. After Khomeini's return, the majority of the original 65,000 Jewish Iranians (had to) leave the country. The leadership of Iran, now transformed into an Islamic theocracy, no longer recognized Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. Instead, the destruction of Israel became Iranian state doctrine. For decades, Iran has strategically used terrorist groups as proxies for its foreign policy in order to take action against Israel (e.g. Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Houthi, armed groups in Iraq and Syria). The Iranian attack on the night of April 13-14, 2024: In the days leading up to the attack, the atmosphere in Israel was very tense following the massive threats made by Iran. Israel had closed 28 representations (embassies and consulates) worldwide; on April 6th, it put its military on high alert, canceled weekend leave for combat units, recalled several reservists to air defense units and blocked GPS signals. Both the USA and other countries have instructed their employees and diplomats not to leave their domiciles with protective bunkers. The Israeli Home Front Command has instructed all residents to store water and food in the bunkers, as well as battery-powered radios, lights, batteries, first aid equipment and medicines. Iran's threats were preceded by an airstrike on a building on the Iranian embassy grounds in the Syrian capital Damascus, for which Israel was held responsible. General Muhammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and his deputy Hadi Haji Rahimi were among those killed in the attack. On the evening of April 13, 2024, Iran's first direct attack on Israel took place. It was the first attack on Israel by another state since the Yom Kippur War 50 years ago. Around 300 drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles were fired at Israel. However, the Israeli air defense - together with its allies - was able to intercept almost all of these deadly missiles. Only minimal damage and one seriously injured victim were caused by falling pieces of rockets.

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