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70 percent say Peretz should resign
Photo: Niv Calderon
Photo: Niv Calderon
Mofaz favored replacement
Photo: Niv Calderon
Sderot home hit by Qassam (archives)
Photo: Reuters
Sderot residents call for action in Gaza
Poll reveals 71 percent of Sderot residents want military action in Gaza Strip, even if it means increased Qassam attacks; 94 percent blame government for poor security situation

Ninety-three percent of Sderot residents feel the security situation in the city is bad or very bad, while 94 percent blame the government for the continued Qassam attacks, a poll revealed on Sunday.

 

This is the first time such a comprehensive survey was held among Sderot residents, and its timing is no coincidence as Sunday's cabinet meeting is set to focus on potential reactions to the Qassam threat.

 

The poll, conducted by Professor Yitzhak Katz of the Maagar Mochot research institute was carried out for Sderot's security staff, and showed consensus among voters for different parties, who all agreed that there is no security in Sderot.

 

Blaming the government for the problem, 94 percent of the respondent rated the government's performance on the matter as bad or very bad.

 

Some 55 percent of the younger respondents and 39 percent of the adult respondents stated that they have considered or are currently considering leaving the city.

 

The poll further revealed that 71 percent of Sderot residents support IDF military action in the northern Gaza Strip and the Philadelphi Route in order to damage terror infrastructure and put an end to the Qassam attacks.

 

The respondents said they would still be interested in military action even if this meant increased Qassam shootings for some time.

 

Mofaz for defense minister 

Seventy-one percent of the respondents feel that in light of the Winograd report and the continued Qassam attacks, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should resign from his position.

 

Seventy percent said that they felt Defense Minister Amir Peretz should resign for the same reasons.

 

The leading candidate for defense minister according to Sderot residents is Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, who won the support of 29 percent of the respondents.

 

Fourteen percent said they preferred MK Effie Eitam of the National Union-National Religious party, while 12 percent said they would like to see former prime minister Ehud Barak as defense minister and 10 percent said they would like MK Ami Ayalon to lead the defense establishment.

 

The respondents were also asked about changes in their personal and family lives following the Qassam attacks. Forty-four percent said that as a result of the shootings, their children suffered anxiety, stress, and damage to their quality of life.

 

Another 44 percent said that the security situation has effected their financial situation for the worse.

 

Alon Davidi, the chairman of Sderot's security staff said, "These findings should shake up every person in the State of Israel and set off an alarm for the military and state leaders. Sderot's residents hold the government directly responsible for the deterioration in security and financial situations in the city and the failure to deal with the Qassam rocket shootings.

 

"The residents are expressing an unequivocal position, under complete consensus, that the government should order the IDF to carry out an extensive ground operation in the northern Gaza Strip and the Philadelphi Route in order to damage terror infrastructure and put an end to the Qassam shootings. The residents even expressed willingness to suffer even greater Qassam attacks in order to allow the IDF to act in the Strip," Davidi added.

 

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