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Underground Bomb Shelters Used by Children Being Evacuated

Underground bomb shelters, where children of the Beisan Valley settlements have been sleeping nightly for the past two years, are being evacuated–but only gradually in order to ease the shock of adjustment for many youngsters who can’t remember when they slept on real beds in a room with windows. The shelters were built to protect the lives of children and adults during two years of almost constant nightly shellings from Jordan. The settlements of the Beisan and Jordan valleys were the prime targets of Arab guerrillas, sometimes joined by Iraqi and Jordanian artillery, whose aim seemed to be the terrorization of Israeli civilians. The border has been quiet since the Jordanian civil war ended in a defeat for the guerrillas two months ago. But psychologists fear that the transition from an underground to a normal life will create problems, especially among the younger children who regard the shelters as their real home. Older children have already been taken out of the shelters. The six-to-eight year olds are now about to be evacuated.