IDF: Safe for residents of 18 communities near Gaza border, and all those over 4 km. away, to return home

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

An IDF soldier in a field next to Kibbutz Mefalsim. (AFP photo/ Yoav Lemmer)
An IDF soldier in a field next to Kibbutz Mefalsim. (AFP photo/ Yoav Lemmer)

The IDF says it has formulated a new “security position” concerning the return of residents to communities near the border with the Gaza Strip, after they had been displaced following Hamas’s October 7 attack.

According to the IDF’s position, it is safe for residents to return to communities that are more than 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Gaza border, along with 18 communities in the 0- to 4-kilometer range.

The 18 border communities are Zikim, Karmia, Yad Mordechai, Erez, Or Haner, Ibim, Sderot, Nir Am, Gevim, Mefalsim, Sa’ad, Alumim, Reim, Magen, Nir Yitzhak, Shlomit, Naveh and Bnei Netzarim.

The IDF’s position still warns that there is “no complete absence of risks,” noting that there still may be rocket fire from Gaza on border towns.

The IDF says plans to allow the return of residents to the Gaza border communities are being formulated in joint discussions between the Home Front Command and local authorities, with the decision on the timing being made individually for each locale and according to an updated situation assessment

Some residents of border communities have already returned to their homes, while many others remain in state-funded hotels or with relatives.

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