Amnesty secretary-general and Qassams
Photo: Amir Cohen
The Color Red alert system identified a Qassam launching towards the western Negev Wednesday afternoon. The rocket landed near a kibbutz in the area; no injuries or damage was reported.
Amnesty's Secretary General Irene Khan visited Sderot Wednesday. Khan first met with Sderot's Mayor Eli Moyal who described the situation in Sderot to her.
"This damage has been going on for six year and is harming the residents, harming day to day life, and harming the schoolchildren's studies. Some children sleep in shelters," said Moyal.
Khan pointed out that the organization that she represents is an objective one, and its next report will emphasize the fact that residents on both sides of the border are living in fear and praying for peace and justice.
Khan sees Qassams (Photo: Amir Cohen)
During her visit, Khan visited kindergartens and schools, and talked with students and staff members.
Moyal brought to Khan's attention the children who "talk about fear and talk about peace, and have been living this way for the past six years. Still, you won't hear a single word of hatred from them." Moyal told her.
Khan was very impressed with the children she visited and that it is clear that they dream of peace; "us adults cannot let them down," she responded.
In the end of her visit Khan was taken to the Qassam collection located behind Sderot's police station. This 'collection' is a pile of hundreds of Qassams that have fallen on the town in the past few months.
Khan was horrified by the site and said "we are pro human rights everywhere. No matter where we are we condemn and will continue to condemn these actions."
Later, Khan visited injured patients in Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.
In Khan's prior visit to Lebanon, the Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora showed her maps that he claimed were marked with sites where the IDF had dropped cluster bombs. She was told that these bombs continue to go off daily and cause many injuries.
'Not too stupid to think shooting will end soon'
Mayor of Sderot Eli Moyal criticized the government's decision not to respond to the Palestinian shooting this week.
"I was the first to welcome the ceasefire, even though I didn’t believe in it to begin with. There is a threat which must be dealt with but the government is playing around with time outs and we all know the hardest part of the battle is still ahead of us. We are not so stupid as to think the Qassam launching has stopped, but the government does" said Moyal.
Moyal added that it's Israel's duty to defend its residents.
"It is absurd that Israel is not responding. If there's information that someone is going to hurt us should they be allowed to do as they wish?... If someone were to come from Norway and announce they intended to harm us wouldn't we respond by harming them?"
The mayor continued by expressing his wish that the government take advantage of the ceasefire and takes this opportunity to guard and reinforce the town.