Photo: Ori Porat
Moyal. 'Terror is Terror'
Photo: Ori Porat
Photo: AP
IDF bombarding
Photo: AP

Sderot Mayor: 'Ashkelon more important?'

Eli Moyal furious at government's decision to act against terrorists only after Ashkelon became target; says Beit Hanun should be erased

Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal on Thursday furiously criticized the government's decision to create a "security strip" at the northern Gaza Strip, a strip which he says will be ineffective on every level.


Residents of the southern town claimed that security forces did not properly retaliate following the dozens of Qassam rockets that landed in Sderot, while a small number of Qassams targeted at Ashkelon's power station were enough for the military and political ranks to make a decision to build the "security strip."


The residents also charged that their town is still in the range of Qassam rockets and will remain so for a long time.


"I can’t understand and will not accept the assumption that the blood of Ashkelon's residents is redder than that the blood of the residents of Sderot and the area," Moyal told Ynet.


After the disengagement and the evacuation of Jewish settlements in the northern Strip, Palestinian groups established Qassam launching sites closer to the border with Israel and began firing rockets toward southern Ashkelon – from a range of 9-10 kilometers (about 5-6 miles) – and recently also toward the Zikim army base.


The operation to build a "security strip" was enabled since most of the area is not populated at the moment. From Sderot residents' point of view, however, the reality will not change, as their town is located east of the Strip and the rockets can still be fired at it.


"Terror is terror and its aim is to hurt people wherever they are. Whether in Sderot or in Ashkelon, the IDF and the security forces' response should be unequivocal – fighting terror," Moyal said.


'Shells make no impression'


"Unfortunately, Sderot is being abandoned and nothing is done. And I have already said dozens of times, if not hundreds of times, that Beit Hanun should be erased and the 'security strip' should be built opposite Sderot," he charged.


Moyal stressed that even when the 'security strip' is completed as part of the IDF's "Blue Skies" operation, the problem of firing rockets toward the Western Negev communities will not be solved.


"Eventually, the firing will continue, the ranges will change and the IDF's shells definitely make no impression – no on us and not on them," he said.


The residents of Moshav Nativ Ha'asara in the Negev were also not moved by the IDF's new initiative. Pnina Ragolsky, chairman of the moshav's committee, laughed bitterly when hearing the concept of a "security strip."


According to Ragolsky, "this is not a strip,' and it definitely will not provide security."


She was also furious with the decision to operate only after the Qassam attacks on Ashkelon.


"This is really not okay, because from our point of view it is irrelevant whether they fire on Ashkelon, Sderot or Nativ Ha'asara . The Qassams are Qassams and they are aimed at hurting people," she said.


"This 'strip' is really not serious. The IDF fires and they keep talking about not hurting Palestinians, God forbid. They warn them with leaflets, but we are not warned by leaflets before Qassams are launched," she charged.


Ragolsky added that "A serious operation should be launched in Beit Hanun for a number of hours, despite the fact that I have friends there, so that they will be afraid and escape."


"The shells fired by the IDF are dummy shells which don’t scare anyone, and the supersonic booms don't scare them either," she said.


פרסום ראשון: 12.29.05, 19:05
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