update deskIsrael at War

Nahal Oz residents allowed to return home for good

"The kibbutz's security rehabilitation is an ongoing process," read the notice.

Friends and family attend the funeral of 20-year-old paramedic Yarin Peled. Hamas terrorists killed her in the Oct. 7 massacre at Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Oct. 22, 2023. Photo by Dor Pazuelo/Flash90.
Friends and family attend the funeral of 20-year-old paramedic Yarin Peled. Hamas terrorists killed her in the Oct. 7 massacre at Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Oct. 22, 2023. Photo by Dor Pazuelo/Flash90.

Residents of Nahal Oz, 800 meters (2,625 feet) from the Gaza Strip, received notice Wednesday that they can return to spend nights in the kibbutz, even if they do not work in essential services there.

According to the announcement from the IDF, overnight stays have been approved for anyone over age 18 who wishes to do so. However, ancillary services such as healthcare, education, clubs, cultural activities and community gatherings will remain closed for now.

“It’s important to understand that the kibbutz’s security rehabilitation is still an ongoing process,” cautioned the notice. “The desired future security regime is still far from being implemented.”

It cited examples such as the camera network, security roads and lighting upgrades that have yet to be completed in the kibbutz and surrounding area. The reserve force unit is also not operating at full capacity yet.

The area remains an active combat zone with frequent warfare noise from live security drills. “This has operational and emotional implications that must be considered, despite the approval to return overnight,” the notice states.

Any residents choosing to stay overnight must notify the security team in order to receive the required support and monitoring for their safety, which “is critical and not to be taken lightly.” The infrastructure team must also be notified to coordinate home entry and rehabilitation assessment. Updates about emergencies or unusual noises will be sent through a dedicated group.

Entry and exit rules remain unchanged, with the kibbutz open only to residents, volunteers and coordinated professional tours. Communications, tourism related to the conflict, and cultural events are still prohibited.

“May these be good days ahead,” the announcement concludes.

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