Israel Education Minister Naftali Bennett visits Sderot and Gaza environs ahead of new school year

Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett, this afternoon (Thursday) arrived at the city of Sderot on the Gaza border ahead of the opening of the new school year, due to begin on Sunday. The celebratory event – which was also attended by Members of Knesset Shuli Mualem and Ya'akov Margi among other senior officials – was initiated by Minister Bennett in partnership with the national network of community centers (Matnasim), in light of the heightened security situation on the border in the recent months and the effect on the children in the area.

Attached photo credit: Oded Karni

Minister Bennett commented, "As we approach the start of the school year, we have come for a festive event here, to offer strength to our brothers and sisters, the residents of the south. We are here to bring a clear message to our enemies on the other side of the border – this city, this spirit, you will never be able to break. The spirit of Sderot, of the State of Israel, will win out. We will return the quiet and security to Sderot and the communities around the Gaza broder. The new school year is already upon us, and we wanted to offer some respite for the children, so that they could enjoy themselves before returning to normal routine. Our commitment to the residents of the south is to provide quiet and stability, and this we will continue to do. Strong security demands a strong back. They deserve this. We will continue to strengthen and fully support the residents of the south."

Mayor of Sderot, Alon Davidi, thanked Minister Bennett and said, "This year, too, the children of Sderot will enjoy a wide range of activities in the community center for all ages, including performances and various activities throughout the year. I am happy to open the school year with Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who cares for the children of Sderot, and chose to come specifically here on the eve of the new school year."

The event at the Sderot Matnas (community center) included well known musicians and children's performers, along with a range of activities including photography and multimedia stations, soccer, games, bouncy castles and a Gymboree, face painting, and more.

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