With just six months separated from the devastating Oct. 7 Hamas massacre, residents in southern Israel are starting to return home, signaling a cautious yet hopeful stride toward normalcy amidst the ongoing conflict.

According to data from the IDF Home Front Command, around 70% of Gaza periphery residents affected by the Oct. 7 massacres have chosen to return home.

Southern Israel communities like Kibbutz Yad Mordechai have seen about 60% of their population return, with Kibbutzim Karmia and Zikim witnessing return rates of approximately 50% and 40%, respectively. Notably, towns situated between 4 and 7 kilometers from the Strip, including the city of Sderot and the Sa’ad and Urim kibbutzim, have observed 75% of their residents returning.

Residents from towns closest to the Gaza fence, which suffered heavily during the initial terrorist attacks, such as Nir Oz, Be’eri, and Kfar Aza kibbutzim, continue to remain in temporary housing. The reconstruction of their homes and communities is underway, with the Home Front Command actively engaging with community leaders to create a safe and secure environment.

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