Netiv HaAsara (Hebrew for: “path of the ten”) is an Israeli farm set on a hill, opposite Gaza Strip’s northern border. It was established in 1982 by 70 Israeli families, and named in memory of 10 IDF soldiers who died in a helicopter crash in 1971. The farm was originally established in Sinai, but it was relocated to its current location following the peace agreement with Egypt. In 2005, Israel cleared itself from the Gaza Strip in hope of reaching a peace agreement with the Hamas as well. Unfortunately, this led to continuous terror attacks from Gaza against neighboring Israeli towns and farms. Being only 700 feet from the border, Netiv HaAsara was often targeted by rockets and mortar shelling from Gaza. A tunnel for a terror attack was also detected in the fields around the farm. Several security measures were taken by the state of Israel, most notable is a set of cement walls protecting the farm from snipers in Gaza.
Path to Peace Art Project
Despite the continuous aggression from Gaza, members of Netiv HaAsara initiated a project of decorating the wall facing Gaza with messages for peace. Known by the name Path to Peace, this project became a tourist attraction in its aim to turn a defensive wall to a peace wall. Visitors are welcomed to add their own ceramic tiles to the wall’s decoration, and recieve a geopolitical review by members of the farm.
A visit to the site is both an instructive and a disturbing experience. Perhaps it best demonstrates the conflicting narratives of the two groups claiming to have the right to live in the land of Israel.
Visiting Netiv HaAsara
The farm is off the coastal highway, at the last junction before the border crossing into Gaza Strip (Erez border crossing). A guided tour of the site can be combined with a day tour surrounding the Gaza Strip.
Points of Interest in the Area
Alongt the road from Tel-Aviv to Netiv HaAsara is Ashkelon and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai. Both sites demonstrate the ancient and modern history of the southern coastal plain of the Holy Land. Tel Ashkelon is a national park, and Yad-Mordechai is known for its 1948 pivotal battle against the Egyptian army. Four miles southwest of Netiv HaAsara is the town of Sderot, which is also known for being bombed often from Gaza Strip.