Residents of southern Israel and the Gaza envelope had hoped that Operation Protective Edge will bring about quiet for a long time, but Tuesday night, just three weeks since the end of the operation, a rocket fired from Gaza exploded in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council.
“We will not accept sporadic firing at our communities,” stressed the head of the Eshkol Regional Council tonight, Haim Yellin. “Israel’s leadership will be measured in how it chooses to defend its citizens, whether it will pursue a long-term peace agreement or continue the non-stop cycle of violence.”
“We have the most powerful army in the world and therefore, we should not be afraid to negotiate from a position of military strength, to bring the long-awaited peace to the south and Gaza periphery,” he said. “We expect the Israeli government to act to bring peace with the same determination with which the soldiers fought to neutralize the threat of the tunnels.”
Many residents said the area around Gaza was not surprised that early this week, there was a shooting at their area. “It was clear that to happen, we are cannon meat,” said Sharon Calderon, a resident of “Sufa” Kibbutz. “We fought for 50 days, we are unable to recover and now its returned,” said Calderon. “We feel abandoned again, it was all for nothing.” According to her, following the renewal of the shooting, she does not intend to stay in the kibbutz during the New Year.
“My stomach is churning,” said Inon Ben David, a resident of Kibbutz Nahal Oz. “It made me feel bad. I told my wife that if I hear one more siren, I’m ordering a truck, loading our belongings, going and not looking back, because I can’t take this anymore. Some families are leaving, my friends and I’m very sad,” said Ben-David. “There is a feeling of emptiness. I really hope we do not go back for another round. Security of my children is more important than anything. If this continues, I will take them away to central Israel.”
Hamas responded to the report of the IDF and stressed that they were not behind the rocket fire and that they continue to be committed to the ceasefire.