Colonel Ronit Lev
Photo: Ido Erez

Taking a break, IDF style

Some 1,000 of Sdreot's residents are staying in IDF facilities across Israel, away from rockets barraging city. IDF cares for their every need. Seeing the children smile, says Colonel Ronit Lev, makes it all worth while

Colonel Ronit Lev, head of the IDF's Payment and Retirement Administration has found herself doing some very unusual work in the past few days.


The Defense Ministry has recently decided to have several hundreds of Sderot's residents get away from the barraged city for a few days of some much needed rest and recuperation. Lev is in charge of caring for their every need. 


Since the last Qassam barrage hit Sderot, more than a 1,000 of its resident have been evacuated to three Soldiers Association facilities and other military installations around the country. 


Some 620 of Sderot's residents have been taken to Givat Olga, 270 to the Feldman House in Netanya and about 400 are now at the Golmintz House, also in Netanya.


The IDF on its part, has treated this as a small military operation: A lieutenant colonel, assisted by other senior and junior ranking officers, has been put in charge of each of the three facilities hosting Sderto's residents. Colonel Lev is in charge of them all.


"We're trying our best to make everyone feel comfortable," said Lev "and it's great to see people smiling, telling me their children finally got a full night's sleep, for the first time in who knows how long."


"We are here first and foremost to make sure they have what they need," Lev told Ynet Sunday. "We also try to make their stay pleasant and useful, and to provide them with any assistance and support necessary."


Many residents, said Lev, didn't bring anything with them, not even a change of clothes. "We got right on it, buying everything we realized we needed: Toothbrushes, shampoo, even disposable diapers," she said.


"We're trying our best to help these people forget, even for just a few days, the hardship of their everyday lives. The defense ministry allocated special funds so that we could help everyone in the short time we have. We even provide laundry services," she added. 


"I feel like the mayor of three cities" she said smiling, "but it's also a great responsibility… many civil organizations have offered to help us and are making donations. Seeing the children smile," she added, "makes it all worth while."


פרסום ראשון: 05.21.07, 00:36
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