Friday, June 21, 2024
Homemiddle eastIsraeli volunteers prepare hundreds of wreaths for funerals

Israeli volunteers prepare hundreds of wreaths for funerals

ZEITAN, Israel – Butcher Tali Yehuda says her tears are with the families of those who have perished as she firmly sticks in a pin to secure a yellow sunflower into one of hundreds of wreaths being prepared by volunteers for funerals across Israel.

She and her teenage daughter are among more than 100 volunteers working to prepare flowers for the more than 1,200 Israelis who have been killed since Hamas gunmen burst into Israel from Gaza on Saturday.

“It’s sad. It’s very sad. The least we can do is to do something like this,” an emotional Yehuda said.

Other women gathered in the safe room in Zeitan, central Israel, wrapped black ribbons around the stem of roses and sifted through piles of multi-coloured blooms. One black ribbon in the centre of a wreath reads in Hebrew: “With you in your grief.”

“You have to understand that there are no wreaths left in Israel anymore,” said flower exporter Lihi Salpeter Danziger, who organised the initiative.

“People cannot get and cannot find flowers to take to funerals for the size of this event. More than 1,200 people are already identified as dead and are being buried as we speak. Sadly, many more to still be identified.”

Danzinger explains that the women work in shifts as the safe room can only accommodate 100 at a time.

Once completed, the wreaths are loaded onto cars and trucks and sent out free of charge to funerals taking place all over the country.

“It was important for us to gather together. It also gives us a lot of comfort. When we sit together and make these bouquets and we talk, we are less connected to news and to all of what’s going on along the media, and we support each other. People cry here, hug here, make bouquets together, and then send it to our families,” Danzinger said. REUTERS

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