There were a lot of tears of sadness and pain on Monday at the convalescence wing of the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer outside of Tel Aviv, as Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal visited the two young victims of the recent Qassam rocket attack.
Osher and Rami Tuito are being hospitalized at Sheba after a Qassam rocket made impact just a few feet away from the two brothers causing serious injury. Osher, 8, had to have a part of his leg amputated and his older brother Rami, 19, sustained moderate injuries.
Moyal has known the family for a long time. The mayor lives close to the family and joked with the boys' mother Iris that: "She is my guardian. I see her next to the entrance everyday."
"We're not consoling, we're giving strength. What is being done doesn't have to be returned, we must look forward and support her the whole way because a lot of problems await her," Moyal added.
The mayor spoke with the family about special housing in Sderot that would allow them to deal with the amputation of Osher's leg.
In a conversation with Ynet, Moyal promised to concern himself with caring for the family and aiding them in their new situation. "This family has my personal telephone. They call me and all their needs will be taken care of by us. If our resources can't solve the problems, we have enough Jewish friends in Israel and the world that can help," he said.
"Seven years we have been in the present situation and a boy with an amputated leg is just too much," Moyal said. "There is justified discontent among Sderot residents. We now want to bear the slogan: 'We're staying in the town' and we want people to help us stay in the town. We enjoy (living in) Sderot and we want the town to return to what it was."
Mission: Stand them up on their legs
As Moyal was consoling and strengthening the family members, 200 Sderot residents held a demonstration in Tel Aviv. The protesters, who blocked the Ayalon highway near the Azrieli center and Hashalom train station in Tel Aviv, managed to completely paralyze all northbound traffic for a while, until they were pushed back by police.
Demonstrators later disrupted traffic on the central Menachem Begin Road in Tel Aviv. The rally was accompanied by a vehicle carrying loudspeakers that repeatedly played the Color Red alarm, which is used to alert Negev residents before rocket attacks.
Later Monday evening several hundred protestors rallied in Jerusalem's Agranat Square across from the High Court of Justice and called for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's resignation over the continuing attacks. Moyal joined the protest along with MK's Yoel Hasson (Kadima) and Esterina Tartman (Yisrael Beitenu).
During Mayor Moyal's visit, Osher underwent another operation on his legs. He was attached to a respirator and was listed in stable condition. His brother Rami's situation was also listed as stable.
Iris appealed to those present and said: "I want my children to smile. I have children that have a joie de vivre, in every difficult situation they're always happy."
Professor Zeev Rothstein, the director of Sheba, tired to comfort Iris after she burst out in tears saying: "Enough Iris, no more crying. We have a joint mission – to put the two (boys) on their legs."
Iris sobbed and responded: "What legs? Legs made out of cardboard or wood?"