More than 450,000 Israelis left their homes on Wednesday to travel the country's scenic routes, with some 50,000 of these choosing to visit the Negev despite recent rocket attacks from Gaza.
Passover vacation was off to a good start in the Gaza vicinity, where a number of towns have decided to hold horticultural activities for visitors.
Hiking with kids on Passover (Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yeshuv)
More than 300 people took part in the 'Salad Trail', hosted by owners of greenhouses in the Besor region, while Beersheba River Park is hosting its second annual 'Light up the Negev' festival with live shows.
"We want to show off the modern agriculture in the Negev," explains Uri Ayalon, an agronomist from Tamei Yosef who runs the 'Salad Trail' project.
Ayalon rejects claims that the area is dangerous due to its proximity to the Gaza Strip. "A month ago, when there was an escalation (in violence), visitors stopped arriving, justifiably," he said.
"But now there is a great response. Visitors are coming here especially to see the area's development and beauty."
"We love the south," says Karen Bobrowsky, who chose to visit Talmei Yosef on her vacation. "The Qassams are not frequent and the advantages outweigh the disadvantages."
Raviv Amar, who was also taking part in the 'Salad Trail' activity, said the area was one of the most beautiful in the country. "We're not scared of missiles and Qassams. It's such beautiful country here and if we don't come visit and strengthen the residents this country will go to other people," he said.
Hassan Shaalan and Hagai Einav contributed to this report
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