Nahal Oz (Hebrew: נַחַ"ל עֹז, lit. "Mighty Stream," also
"Strength of the Nahal") is a kibbutz in southern Israel. Located in
the northwestern part of the
Negev desert close to the border with the
Gaza Strip and near the development towns of
Sderot and Netivot, it
falls under the jurisdiction of Sha'ar Ha
Negev Regional Council. In
2016 it had a population of 363.
5 External links
The kibbutz was founded in 1951 as the country's first Nahal
settlement. It was initially referred to as Nahlayim Mul Aza (Hebrew:
נחלאים מול עזה, lit.
Nahal soldiers across from Gaza).
In 1953 it became a civilian community.
Nahal Oz came to national attention in April 1956 when its security
officer Ro'i Rothberg was ambushed and killed by infiltrators from
Gaza. Rutenberg's funeral was attended by Moshe Dayan, then
Chief of Staff, who gave a widely acclaimed eulogy which called upon
Israel to search its soul and probe the national mindset.
"Early yesterday morning Roi was murdered. The quiet of the spring
morning dazzled him and he did not see those waiting in ambush for
him, at the edge of the furrow. Let us not cast the blame on the
murderers today. Why should we declare their burning hatred for us?
For eight years they have been sitting in the refugee camps in Gaza,
and before their eyes we have been transforming the lands and the
villages, where they and their fathers dwelt, into our estate. It is
not among the
Arabs in Gaza, but in our own midst that we must seek
Roi's blood. How did we shut our eyes and refuse to look squarely at
our fate, and see, in all its brutality, the destiny of our
generation? Have we forgotten that this group of young people dwelling
Nahal Oz is bearing the heavy gates of Gaza on its shoulders?
Beyond the furrow of the border, a sea of hatred and desire for
revenge is swelling, awaiting the day when serenity will dull our
path, for the day when we will heed the ambassadors of malevolent
hypocrisy who call upon us to lay down our arms. Roi's blood is crying
out to us and only to us from his torn body. Although we have sworn a
thousandfold that our blood shall not flow in vain, yesterday again we
were tempted, we listened, we believed.
We will make our reckoning with ourselves today; we are a generation
that settles the land and without the steel helmet and the cannon's
maw, we will not be able to plant a tree and build a home. Let us not
be deterred from seeing the loathing that is inflaming and filling the
lives of the hundreds of thousands of
Arabs who live around us. Let us
not avert our eyes lest our arms weaken. This is the fate of our
generation. This is our life's choice - to be prepared and armed,
strong and determined, lest the sword be stricken from our fist and
our lives cut down. The young Roi who left Tel Aviv to build his home
at the gates of Gaza to be a wall for us was blinded by the light in
his heart and he did not see the flash of the sword. The yearning for
peace deafened his ears and he did not hear the voice of murder
waiting in ambush. The gates of Gaza weighed too heavily on his
shoulders and overcame him."
Privatization of the kibbutz began in 1997.
After the 2006 Lebanon War, Israeli novelist David Grossman, who lost
his son in the war, delivered a eulogy that was widely compared to
Dayan's eulogy for Rutenberg. On 22 August 2014 during Operation
Protective Edge, four-year-old resident of the kibbutz Daniel
Tregerman was killed by mortar fire from the Gaza Strip.
The kibbutz's agriculture is based on crop growing, a dairy and
chickens. It also has a factory ("Ozat") for producing nuts and bolts,
as well as a high-tech firm.
Currently, during the 2018 March of Return Gazan protests, during
which thousands of Gazans have been shot or tear gassed, over a dozen
lethally, residents of
Nahal Oz have formed a seating section on the
Israeli side of the border, which
Israel Television News Company
reporter Nir Dvori tweeted an image of, with the caption of
"ההצגה הכי טובה בעיר. תושבי נחל עוז
ביציע", translated in English as "Best show in town. Residents of
Nahal Oz in the stands."
^ a b "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel
Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
^ Benny Morris (1993). Israel's Border Wars. Oxford University Press.
Nahal Oz hopes to outsmart Gaza attackers Haaretz, 4 June 2008
^ Shapira, Anita. Israel; A History. p. 271. Retrieved 23
^ Israelis seek response from Messi: 'You were Daniel's Hero'
Ynetnews, 23 August 2014
Negev Information Centre
Negev Regional Council