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Sderot. 'Situation is worse' Photo: Amir Cohen
Sderot. 'Situation is worse' Photo: Amir Cohen
 
Bomb shelter in city. 'Children are scared' Photo: Tamar Dressler
Bomb shelter in city. 'Children are scared' Photo: Tamar Dressler
 
 

Sderot residents 'going crazy over misleading calm'

Residents not impressed by drop in number of Qassam rockets which hit southern town in past few days, say they are still controlled by fear and businesses find it difficult to recover

Shmulik Hadad
Published: 06.06.07, 23:57 / Israel News

Four Qassam rockets landed in the Sderot area on Wednesday – a significant drop compared to the barrages which rocked the southern town in the past two weeks.

 

In spite of the relative calm in the past few days, many have yet to return to the battered city and the state of emergency declared by the Home Front Command is still valid.

 

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Many children have stopped going to school, others study outside the city, and although the Qassams are no longer part of the Israeli public's agenda, Sderot residents feel that the situation has not changed and has even become worse.

 

A large number of businesses in the city are still closed, while their owners wait for a decision of the Knesset's Finance Committee on compensation, but none of them have any high expectations.

 

Dudi Cohen, the owner of a candy store, spoke of his feelings after all the reporters and politicians returned to central Israel.

 

"This feeling of a calm, not only is it false, but it is also one of our biggest disasters here as business owners. The situation in the past few days is only getting worse, because everyone who has money, all the wealthy people, have left Sderot and rented apartments in other places.

 

"The entire purchasing power here in the city has in fact dropped because people are not coming to do their shopping in Sderot, but prefer to shop outside the city."


One of rockets which hit Sderot on Wednesday (Photo: Amir Cohen)

 

Another business owner, Moshe Lev, believes that in spite of the drop in the number of Qassams hitting the city, the situation is far from satisfying, to put it mildly.

 

"People are simply not here. Even those who returned, came back with a lot of fears and concerns. People don’t feel like doing anything anymore, as if they have just had enough. They are at home, doing only what has to be done, and this is the situation here in the past few days.

 

"Other residents also think that this misleading calm hurts them, as the government did not do anything before as well, and now they are certain that the government will not do much."

 

For Israelis who do not live in Sderot, the number of rockets which hit the city is the measure of the local mood. But Yaki Cohen, a city resident, explains that the situation is completely different.

 

"As far as I am concerned, one Qassam or 30 Qassams a day are the same thing. Yesterday night we heard the Color Red (alert system) at midnight and a rocket fell. My five children woke up in panic. They were crying, screaming. Try and calm down five completely hysterical children. Even today, when we heard the Color Red once, it was enough to paralyze the people here.

 

"The situation now is more difficult because the Palestinians have apparently completed one round, and now everyone is waiting for the next time they'll fire," said Yoel, another Sderot resident. "This is a situation that could cause people to go crazy."

 

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