Imagine that you live under a situation in which every day there is a rocket attack from your neighbors. You don't know where it is going to strike, you don't know if your home, your family will suffer this time. Imagine that this has been going on for 8 years and the authorities would do nothing to stop these attacks. This is what the citizens of Sderot and the Western Negev have lived with for 8 years now. Even when there was a so-called "truce", the rockets fell. And yet the world only condemns Israel for attacking back.
Four Qassam rockets were fired from northern Gaza Saturday evening towards the city of Sderot in south Israel. There were no reports of injuries or damage.Now imagine a former US President siding with your attackers, advising them and telling the Media that it is all your fault that you are being attacked by your neighbor.
One of the rockets landed in the courtyard of a local factory, but caused no damage to the site. Another rocket landed near a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, while the third landed near the security fence separating Israel from the Hamas-controlled territory. The landing site of the fourth Qassam has yet to be located.
The attack on Sderot took place at around 19:30 pm; loud explosions were heard in the city.
The al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad's armed wing, claimed responsibility for the barrage, saying it was launched in retaliation for Israel's "continued aggression" and "crimes of the occupation."
At 9:30 pm another Qassam rocket fired from Gaza landed in an open area in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
At least 15 Qassams and 26 mortars were fired toward the western Negev region throughout the day.
In the afternoon a barrage of mortar shells and one rocket fell in a kibbutz located within the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council's limits.
Former United States President Jimmy Carter reported that he advised Syrian-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on what price to demand from Israel for the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who was abducted more than two years ago. He said that Hamas is "relatively satisfied with the status quo."I see that a nursing home hasn't been found for Grandpa Carter yet.
Carter's visit to Lebanon and Syria earlier this month follows a trip to to Damascus several months ago in the face of American policy against establishing direct contact with the outlawed terrorist organization.
Carter wrote on his website that he spoke with Mashaal about "formulas for prisoner exchange to obtain the release of Corporal Shalit," who has since been promoted to sergeant.
However, he probably is not aware of the promotion because the International Red Cross has not succeeded in convincing Hamas to honor the Geneva Convention and allow its officials to visit him. The Red Cross also has rejected Israeli citizen's demands that it stop visiting terrorists in Israeli jails until Shalit is seen and confirmed to be alive and in good health.
In order to put forward your side of the conflict you hold a news conference, but the media does not attend, calling you an aggressor and murderer.
By Anav Silverman - Sderot Media Center
A day before the Hamas-Israel ceasefire officially ended, Sderot Media Center facilitated a press conference with a panel of Sderot officials who provided brief updates of the security situation and the impact of the ceasefire on the area residents to Israeli and international press.But for the people of Sderot and the Western Negev, the IDF might be giving them a Chanukah present.
Member of Knesset and Kadima party member, Shai Chermesh, who is a resident of Kfar Aza, a western Negev community under daily mortar shelling, participated in the panel. He stated that the ceasefire had yielded no positive results for Israel. "Gilad Schalit is still in Gaza and Sderot and western Negev residents are still under rocket fire. This is a reality that our government must deal with and as of now, the government of Israel has shown that it has little authority over what is happening to Sderot and the western Negev," MK Chermesh concluded.
"Hamas is the occupying power of Gaza and has treated its constituents terribly," he added. "Hamas must stop using their own Palestinian civilians as sacrificial offerings by employing rocket terror tactics against innocent Israelis."
Chermesh stated that he believed that disengaging from Gaza in 2005 was a positive move. "It was important that we left and it was too bad that we didn't leave earlier," he stated. "If the IDF re-enters Gaza, the attack must be planned carefully. The people of Gaza should not go hungry and we must limit civilian causalities as much as possible."
Batya Katar, representing the Parents Association for the security of Sderot, stated that Sderot residents feel that Sderot is a separate entity. "We don't have the right leaders to deal with the reality of the region," she said. "If this was happening in Tel Aviv, there would be a completely different reaction from the government."
"Only yesterday evening, a Palestinian rocket landed right outside a busy supermarket. People outside at the time barely escaped the rocket explosion," Katar added. "Thanks to the Tzeva Adom, they were able to make it inside, but the attack could have been deadly. How many more rocket attacks must Sderot experience, how many near-death experiences must Sderot residents endure--before the government of Israel acts?"
The president of Sderot's Small Businesses Association, Danny Dahan told the press that the rocket fire was economically crippling the region. Dahan, who owns Dahan's supermarket in Sderot, explained that the changed shopping patterns of his customers--"they rush in and rush out" has contributed to the decrease in sales. "People no longer linger around, taking their time to buy food. Everyone wants to go home as quickly as possible." Dahan also stated that due to the rocket fire, there were problems with shipments of goods coming into Sderot. "Some of our suppliers refuse to enter Sderot because of the rocket fire. Many times, I end up going to the junction in Ashkelon to pick up the goods for my supermarket."
Noam Bedein, Sderot Media Center director, highlighted that the over 2,500 Palestinian rockets fired at Sderot and the western Negev have caused a marked increase in psychological trauma among Sderot children. "Between 70-94% of Sderot children are suffering from signs of PTSD, according to a recent NATAL survey" Bedein stated.
Bedein also related that between 300-400 Palestinian rockets have been fired at Israel since the ceasefire began in June. Yehuda Ben Maman, the Sderot security officer, added that although many bomb shelters have emerged throughout Sderot in the recent year, most of the structures provide protection from rocket shrapnel only and not from direct Qassam rocket hits.
You can give the children of Sderot a wonderful Christmas/Chanukah gift too. A small donation to the Sderot Media Center will give a child the gift of hope and love. It pays for the small parties given to the children of Sderot, the psychological counseling that many of the citizens need, and the legal help the people of the region need to deal with the government bureaucracy. It is easy to do. Just click on the Sderot Media Logo at the top or bottom of this post and follow the directions from there.Military source: IDF prepared to 'conquer Gaza Strip' if need be
Military sources said the IDF was preparing for a wide-range of scenarios, pending government instructions.
"We have operational plans ranging from conquering the Gaza Strip to pinpoint raids against rocket squads," one officer said. "However, we will ultimately do what we are told to do."