Photo: Amir Cohen
Sderot roads blocked for traffic
Photo: Amir Cohen
Photo: Amir Cohen
Residents protest incessant rocket fire
Photo: Amir Cohen
Sderot reopens after closure
(VIDEO) Residents block roads in protest of incessant Qassam rocket fire, but reopen them later due to heat. General strike declared, blackout expected at 9 p.m.

VIDEO - Sderot residents take protest up a notch: All roads leading to and from the Qassam-stricken town were blocked by municipal workers using tractors and other vehicles.


The roads were later reopened due to the extreme heat.


Sderot roads blocked (Video: Yaron Brenner) (צילום: ירון ברנר)


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The residents themselves declared a general strike and the schools remained closed as well; the city is set to be blacked out at 9 p.m.



Residents who ended their hunger strike on Monday at President Moshe Katsav’s request plan to set up a “Qassam meter” opposite Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Jerusalem office.


“We must take advantage of the momentum,” one resident said.


Shutting down Sderot (Photo: Amir Cohen) 


However, parents of children attended special education institutions expressed their indignation over the closing of local schools.


'Peres detached from Israeli reality'


“This is a scandal; we want the schools to be relocated to areas outside Sderot,” Na’ama Bracha, the mother of a 10-yeasr-old special education student told Ynet.


“Special education schools should not strike. We have no choice but to stay with the kids at home; let (Sderot Mayor) Eli Moyal live out his fantasies somewhere else.”


Sign reads 'State abandoning its citizens.' (Photo: Amir Cohen)


Mayor Moyal, for his part, said “People are calling from all across the country to invite us to their homes, but the Prime Minister’s Office remains silent; no one is answering.”


As to Vice Premier Shimon Peres’ controversial remarks regarding the “Qassam hysteria,” Moyal said “His time has passed; he should leave us alone. We demand his immediate apology. I call on the government to fire him. He has never lived in Kiryat Shmona or Sderot, and if his grandchildren were living here, I don’t think he would make those comments.


“If he does not apologize, we will declare him a persona non grata. It seems that Peres is detached from Israeli reality, he likes it better in Europe. I suggest he support the Sderot residents, because that’s how a Zionist should act in Israel at this time – and he is the minister for the development of the Negev and Galilee – this is a disgrace for the nation of Israel that he expresses himself in such a way.”


But protesters have not only focused their campaign against Olmert and Peres. Defense Minister Amir Peretz, a Sderot resident is also in sights.


Residents have criticized the defense minister for blocking an IDF proposal for a large-scale military offensive in Gaza.


Peretz said the army will step up its response if Qassam fire persists.


On Tuesday, three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Two rockets landed in open fields in Sderot, and the third landed in Palestinian territory.


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