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Photo: Gil Yohanan
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Photo: Gil Yohanan
Negev communities 'break off from Israel'
Enraged by perceived lack of support from government, Gaza-vicinity residents launch tax strike, propose forming independent 'Western Negev State'

Hundreds of residents from Israeli communities suffering from Gaza rocket barrages have launched a campaign to actively oppose what they call the State's 'disengagement' from the western Negev. Their first order of business was staging a tax strike.

 

Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday that those behind the initiative seek to protest the government's inaction in the face of daily attacks from Palestinian terror groups. The residents fear the situation may continue to escalate despite the ceasefire agreement.

 

"We are not the one's breaking away from the State, it is the government that has led us to this," said members of 'The Parliament' – a group of over 20 residents of communities in the western Negev who have come to lead the protest.

 

The group includes, among others, Ofer Lieberman from Nir Am, Ofir Lipstein and Eyal Kedoshim from Kfar Aza and Nir Brouda from Miflasim.

 

Kedoshim came to prominence following the death of his father, Jimmy, from a mortar shell several weeks ago.

 

"As far as we are concerned, there is no tahadiya (truce). We will continue our fight according to plan," they said.

 

The group has erected protest tents at the Nir Am and Magen junctions and hundreds come there nightly to support their cause, primarily residents from Sderot and neighboring Gaza-vicinity communities. The protest is being held under a banner calling for the region to break away from Israel and form an independent 'Western Negev State.'

 

"Our goal is first and foremost to unite all (western Negev) residents and rally them for this cause," said Ofir Lipstein

 

The movement already boasts its own daily media publication – 'The Battle.' The group is also distributing bumper stickers with the name of their new state and future plans call for issuing new ID cards for locals.

 

Hoping to draw attention to their cause, the protestors will also stage demonstrations and fundraisers across the country.

 

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