Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich met with residents of Kfar Aza on Sunday, who harshly criticized the government for the continued rocket fire on the south – after they had been promised it was "safe to return home."
Orit Brown, Kfar Aza's coordinator, told Aharonovich: "Towards the ceasefire there was a call for Gaza-area residents to return to their homes. I have no words to describe the anguish we felt Friday morning, the fear, the anxieties, the loss of faith, the crisis, and the frustration."
"Why tell us to come back home? Why hurry? You knew it would be a process and that things weren't yet over. Why did you tell us to come back?"
Alon Shuster, head of the Sha'ar HeNegev Regional Council expressed his support for Nahal Oz residents' decision not to return. "What has become the insurrection of Nahal Oz is a revolt. This is statement by people who said to themselves there is a final straw that breaks us. And, by the way, it is breaking us."
Shuster emphasized: "We are essentially telling the world, 'We understand, we are in the midst of a fight. We'll be back when it's calm' – that's the message."
Batya Holin, a local resident, added that "we feel that for 14 years the government of Israel has not managed our lives. Hamas is in charge. When it wants there is quiet and when it doesn't there is none. Who do we pay taxes to, to Hamas? Someone needs to take responsibility and declare that we run are in charge of our lives."
Nadav Goldstein, another resident, said at the meeting that "I call on you to consider a severe affirmative action in favor of this entire area. Do not compare the terms, but help this rare area of consensus become stronger. Your response should be further settlement. Invest twice as much here in infrastructure so that this place may be ever stronger."
Aharonovich harshly criticized IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, saying "there were things that should not have been said."
The minister said "there is no crisis between the residents and the military or government. At the end of the day I believe we will draw conclusions (from this op)."