Nachal Oz Residents Permitted to Return Home

By Yoni Weiss

The destruction caused by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Nachal Oz, near the Israel-Gaza border, as seen on Oct. 20, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Residents of Kibbutz Nachal Oz were informed on Wednesday that they are now allowed to return and spend nights in the kibbutz, regardless of their involvement in essential services there. The IDF’s announcement stated that overnight stays have been approved for individuals aged 18 and above who wish to avail themselves of this option. However, ancillary services such as healthcare, education, cultural activities, and community gatherings will remain closed for the time being.

“It’s crucial to recognize that the ongoing security rehabilitation of the kibbutz is still in progress,” the notice cautioned. “The envisioned future security arrangements are yet to be fully implemented.” Examples cited included the installation of a camera network, security road constructions, and lighting upgrades in the kibbutz and its surroundings, which are still pending. Additionally, the reserve force unit is not yet operating at full capacity.

The area remains an active combat zone, with frequent sounds of warfare from live security drills. “This presents operational and emotional considerations that must be taken into account, despite the approval for overnight stays,” emphasized the notice.

Residents opting to stay overnight are required to inform the security team to ensure they receive necessary support and monitoring for their safety, which is deemed “crucial and non-negotiable.” The infrastructure team must also be notified to coordinate home entry and conduct rehabilitation assessments. Only updates concerning emergencies or unusual noises will be communicated through a dedicated group.

Entry and exit regulations remain unchanged, with access to the kibbutz restricted to residents, volunteers, and coordinated professional tours. Communication, tourism related to the conflict, and cultural events continue to be prohibited.

“May better days lie ahead,” concluded the announcement.

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