(Photo Courtesy of Amnon Arad)
An Instagram account started by eight Israeli girls in the Gaza Envelope has gone viral, giving voice to their suffering under Hamas’ campaign of terror.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
“Here you’ll get a taste of the real life being led by the people who live in the Gaza ‘envelope.’ If you have video clips and stories, send them to us and we’ll put them up. The people of Israel live!”
So reads the bio for the Instagram account @otef.gaza, run by eight 16- to 18-year-old girls living in Israeli border communities on the Gaza Strip.
In less than two weeks, the account has gone viral, with over 50,000 followers signing up to see burning fields and Iron Dome interceptors blast incoming Hamas rockets out of the sky.
The account provides a glimpse into life amid the Code Red sirens that send families racing to safe rooms and the fear that has gripped the South’s citizens for seven months.
“Every day, there are incendiary kites, explosive balloons, fires, shelling and tear gas that we breathe and choke on – and that’s only part of what’s going on,” the girls write in one post. “Almost a week ago they came to check the air pollution and found that it’s over the normal limit. And it’s not just in the air outside but also in our homes and nothing’s done about it to take care of it . . . we feel invisible.”
The girls’ Instagram success has given them visibility. spreading the truth about daily life in the shadow of Islamic terror.
In a recent interview with Israeli magazine At (“You”), they said their goal is to “raise awareness, and in due course even reach the government. … We’re in a war every day and it’s time that they found the necessary solution.”
They are particularly gratified by messages from those who had no idea about life in Israel’s south prior to seeing the girls’ videos and pictures. The girls credit their teachers for inspiring them to begin their social media career.
“We went on an ‘Israeli campaign’ from the school,” they say in the At interview. “They kept talking to us about values like sharing, daring, changing reality. That’s what gave us the push. We simply felt that the country doesn’t see us, and isn’t relating to our day-to-day situation.”
According to Channel 10, the teens never expected such an overwhelming reaction, calling the huge number of followers “crazy.”