Jonathan Vermeulen Camping Site
Description: The Vermeulen Camping Site is one of the most beautiful camping sites in the Negev, with drinking water, and a parking lot leading to wheelchair-accessible picnic tables in the shade of pine and eucalyptus trees. A 180-m disabled-accessible wooden path leads from the parking lot to the scenic lookout that overlooks the Gaza Strip with a sign that tells the story ofJonathan Vermeulen and a moving photograph of Jonathan at the age of 4 planting a tree in a KKL-JNF forest. Jonathan Vermeulen came from a Christian family in Holland. His parents, supporters of Israel, immigrated to Israel in 1972. At the age of 18 Jonathan returned with his family to Holland, but when the Gulf War broke out (1993) he returned to Israel and insisted on enlisting in the IDF. After he was discharged, he served as a combatant in Israel's National Counter Terror Unit and afterwards as a sapper in the Border Police in Gaza. He was killed on December 28, 2000 by an explosive charge next to the border fence. KKL-JNF, in collaboration with his comrades, built the camping site in his memory.
About 200 m from the Vermeulen camping site is a modest picnic site with a monument commemorating Barak Rafael Degorker of Gan Yavne. Barak, born 1986, who completed his law studies with honors, was killed in Operation Protective Edge (July 27, 2014) when he was hit by a Katyusha.

Directions: At Sa’ad Junction traffic circle turn east towards Shuva and Zimrat and after 200 m turn right to the camping site wood

Photograph: Yaakov Shkolnik, KKL-JNF Photo Archive