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Israel Together Coalition Rallies to Support Residents of Gaza Periphery Towns

January 17, 2008

The coalition, an initiative of Meir Panim chairman Dudi Zilbershlag, will provide solutions for needs such as supplies, children’s activities, psychological help and medical aid.

Due the deteriorating security situation in Sderot and other western Negev towns, the Israel Together Emergency Coalition renewed its operations last Friday. The coalition, which was active during the Second Lebanon War, will operate in conjunction with volunteer and business groups and in coordination with the Sderot municipality.

The coalition will run a phone hot line–1220- which will aim to provide service for citizens who seek supplies. It will also provide children’s activities, psychological assistance and emergency medical aid for the injured. The coalition, which received high praise in the State Comptroller Report on its management of the home guard during the war and was also highly acclaimed by public institutions, will integrate services provided by Meir Panim-Power of Giving, ZAKA, Kibbutz Movement, Doctors’ Union, Bat Ami National Service, Ruach Tovah, NATAL, and a variety of youth movements.

In the framework of the coalition’s activities, the Meir Panim-Power of Giving organization will reinforce its branches in Sderot and western Negev towns by preparing hot meals for housebound individuals and providing children’s activities in protected areas. ZAKA volunteers will be dispersed throughout the towns and will provide immediate care for the injured if necessary. Bat Ami girls will operate the phone hotline and will help occupy the children and teenagers. Members of the Doctors’ Union will help to treat the injured and shock victims.

“It is impossible to remain apathetic to the present security situation in Sderot. The situation requires us to rally ourselves immediately on a number of levels, such that only a combination of strengths within the public, business and volunteer sectors can bring relief to residents in towns on the Gaza periphery and Sderot. I am certain that the renewal of Israel Together’s operations will compel the government to increase its involvement and improve the situation,” said Zilbershlag.