Even those soldiers who fought to protect Israel’s border with Gaza on the night of Passover last Friday were able to celebrate a kosher Passover Seder, according to an announcement by the Israel Defense Forces’ Chief Rabbinate.
On Friday, as many as 30,000 Gaza residents rioted along the Gaza border, attacking the fence, burning tires, and hurling stones and firebombs at IDF troops stationed there.
Gaza Division Rabbi Adiel Alexassi told Yediot Ahronot that large numbers of matzah and personal Seder kits were prepared in advance to dispense to soldiers protecting the Gaza border fence on Friday, the night of the Passover seder. Unlike in the United States, only one Seder is held in Israel.
Preparing for the festival, all chametz, or leavened food products (forbidden during the weeklong Passover holiday) was removed on Israeli military bases. Thousands of reservists, soldiers and even volunteers undertook a massive 24-hour operation last week to clean IDF kitchens on bases throughout Israel to ensure that they would be kosher for Passover.
In 2017, the IDF purchased 61.5 tons of matzah for its soldiers and personnel; a ton of horseradish; two tons of charoset (a mix of apples and nuts); 7.5 tons of matzah meal; four tons of potato flour; 2.7 tons of matzah-ball mix; 8.5 tons of fish; 52 tons of chicken, turkey, roast beef and grilled meats; 115,000 (unbreaded) schnitzel; two tons of artichokes; and 8.5 tons of kosher-for-Passover cakes and cookies.
Special packages were also prepared for those who are vegan, gluten-sensitive or have food allergies.