January 7, 2009 / 11 Tevet, 5769
Daniella Botchnick, a resident of the Eshkol region in Southern Israel, is not ready to leave her moshav, despite recent events. This is where she raised her children, and this is where she lives.
Daniella is a customs agent who has been active for seventeen years along the Israeli-Gaza border. She maintains contact with the Palestinian Authority and her counterparts working in Gaza. But ever since the outbreak of the current war, she has not seen the employees on the other side.
“Whenever I call,” Daniella explained, “something lands there in Gaza and the connection is lost. And when they call, I am running to the shelter because the warning siren goes off. This situation is not a simple one at all.”
Several days ago, as Daniella slept late at night, she was suddenly awakened by the sound of missiles without any prior warning of a Red Alert siren. She immediately started running toward the shelter room. As the missiles landed, she slipped and fell against the cement wall of the shelter room and sustained injuries to her face.
Daniella was rushed to the hospital and was diagnosed with dry wounds, damage to her front teeth, and a concussion.
Ofer Baram, a representative of the Jewish Agency's Fund for Victims of Terror and a resident of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, visited Daniella to receive her testimony of the events – just as he does every morning.
Yesterday, on January 6, 2009, he came to Daniella once again – this time to hand her a check from the Fund for Victims of Terror.
“It arrived just in time,” Daniella told us, “to help us cover my debt of NIS 3,000 for my first treatments. It’s no simple matter trying to survive in this situation, where we don’t have work as we had in the past, yet we survive. This money is very important preliminary assistance. I am very grateful to you for this.”
Daniella told us of her life during this difficult period, emphasizing the more trivial aspects of daily life. “The dentist who is treating me, for example, is not currently treating patients in the moshav because he has no shelter room in his office. I therefore have to travel over an hour to Be’er Sheva for treatment – which takes a lot of time and costs money."
“In the last few days, however, when they came to me to ask if I could volunteer to prepare food for the soldiers in the area, I did not hesitate. I donated my home and, together with some other people, I prepared food. We are in a very difficult situation but we haven’t forgotten that we, too – myself included – are parents of soldiers on the battlefield and we have no choice but to volunteer."