Home Front Command Chief Maj.-Gen. Yitzhak Gershon met Nazareth Mayor Ramez Jaraisi on Thursday to discuss measures to protect residents of the Arab Israeli city.
Residents complained of the lack of shelters and warning systems in the city after a Katyusha rocket killed two brothers aged nine and three on Wednesday.
Jaraisi told Ynet after the meeting that the fighting needs to stop and only negotiations will bring peace: "The achievements Israel is seeking will not be realized in the battlefield but on the negotiation table. The question is how much time will pass and how much blood will be spilled before they negotiate. It is clear for me that at the time being feeling are speaking but we need to use are brains and save lives."
Maj.-Gen. Garshon told Jaraisi that citizens should be told to seek shelter in enclosed space upon hearing a siren, repeating claims that no shelters are needed.
He spoke of a house in Haifa that was partly destroyed by a direct hit but whose residents suffered minor injuries because they were hiding in interior rooms.
He said he will return to the city as a citizen in more peaceful times.
'They didn't tell us'
The rockets caught local residents unprepared, they related. “We knew it could happen to us too, but when no one is sounding the alarms or distributing instruction flyers, we just continued life as usual,” Trek Kubati told Ynet after the attack.
“If they had instructed us to enter protected areas, as they did in the Jewish towns, the tragedy might have been prevented,” Nazareth resident Kubati told Ynet, referring to the deadly attack.
Ramez Jaraisi told Ynet shortly after the fatal attack that the Home Front Command warned caution and gave the same general directives it gives to all threatened locales. “We held children’s day camps indoors today,” Jaraisi said. He noted the lethal rocket hit a very crowded area.
Barhoum Jaraisi, who lives in the neighborhood, agreed with Kubati. “When dealing with Arabs, the establishment doesn’t care if we get hit. We’re used to this. It’s nothing new,” he said. “When there were rocket strikes on Monday in Nazareth Illit nearby, their siren went off. But here no one was told to enter shelters. I called the police and asked why, and they said they’d get back to me.”
“No one has gotten back to me yet,” he added.
In any case, Jaraisi said he had no plans to leave the town due to the situation.
“I have a protected area in my house. I’ve instructed my family to use it, and that’s what we’ll do from now on,” he said.