Meetings in Sderot with activists in the Movement for the Future of the Western Negev and Meretz Members of Knesset

May 16, 2016. Gisha’s public advocacy coordinator, Elizabeth Tsurkov, gave a talk in Sderot last month, to about 15 activists with the Movement for the Future of the Western Negev. The talk, and the discussion that followed, touched on topics such as how Israel continues to control the Gaza Strip after its disengagement from Gaza in 2005, the progress of reconstruction in Gaza following Operation Protective Edge, and the restrictions Israel imposes on freedom of movement, and transfer of goods into and out of Gaza. Tsurkov spoke at length about the state of infrastructure in the Strip, asWestern Negev residents are also affected by the water crisis and sanitation issues that face Gaza residents.

During the discussion held after the presentation, local residents agreed to maintain contact with Gisha in order to remain up-to-date on access policy which they are keenly interested in influencing.

On May 16, Tsurkov attended another event in Sderot, entitled “How to prevent the next war and how previous ones affected residents living near Gaza”. The event was organized by the Meretz faction in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and was attended by local representatives from political, welfare and mental health organizations. Tsurkov spoke about Gaza’s young population and its current needs, about civil society organizations in the Strip and the challenges they face, and, here too, about the link between the future of Gaza residents and the future of Israelis who live near the Strip.