As educators and providers of supportive services throughout the State of Israel, AMIT strongly supports Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself and its citizens against terrorism. Hamas militants in Gaza have been launching Kassam and other rockets at southern Israeli towns for six years and have dramatically increased these attacks in the past six weeks. More than 250 rockets and mortars have been launched in the past week alone, reaching citizens in and around the towns and cities of Beersheva, Ashkelon, Sderot, Kiryat Malachi, and Ashdod.
AMIT has 10 schools in Beersheva, six schools and programs in Sderot, one in Ashkelon, and four in Kiryat Malachi, caring for more than 7000 children in these communities. Since the Chanukah recess, these children have been unable to return to school and they, along with their parents and the citizens of these towns, are being terrorized by the falling missiles. Although they are out of school, the homeroom teachers are maintaining regular contact with the students through emails and telephone calls, to arrange for emotional and physical assistance for those who need it.
In Beersheva a missile fell just 50 meters from our school, where the principal and her staff were in the process of arranging aid for some of the children. We have provided intense psychological counseling in Sderot for the past six years and now, unfortunately, we must bring in more psychologists, to include the 21 AMIT schools in the fire zone.
We are preparing to bring AMIT families impacted by the hostilities to our two youth villages – at AMIT Kfar Blatt in Petach Tikvah and AMIT Kfar Batya in Ra’anana. We also are making preparations to temporarily relocate classrooms from schools in the south to AMIT schools outside the targeted zones should this situation continue for any length of time. We will need to set up computer distance learning and provide extra tutorial hours to help students preparing for their matriculation exams to make up for the many days they will be away from school.
We applaud and thank the government of the United States and all of those senators and congressmen who have voiced their support for Israel and who have articulated that Hamas must be held responsible for undermining efforts to attain peace and security in the region.
Those of your readers who wish to support AMIT in providing the many special services that will be needed by our students are invited to visit our Website, www.amitchildren.org.