Photo: Zeev Trachtman
Lull in Qassam attacks
Photo: Zeev Trachtman
Moyal: Rockets will return
Photo: Niv Calderon

Sderot residents: Lull in Qassam attacks is calm before the storm

Residents of rocket-battered town enjoying days of calm, but tension remains; confusion with regards to ceasefire doesn't help, resident says

Sderot residents almost can't remember enjoying so many days without rocket attacks, but things aren't really back to normal yet. Many locals are concerned about the day when the rockets return.


"It's clear that the Palestinians are rearming and this will be shown very soon," says Hava Gad, a Sderot resident. "The calm is very worrisome."


According to Gad, there was already a two-month period of calm in Israel's south which was broken. "I thought to myself then that things were finally getting back to normal and then the horrendous barrages returned," she recounted.


"It hasn't been resolved and it won't be resolved. The concern about rocket fire follows us around everywhere, even if the calm lasts for another week. My kids aren't prepared to play outside the entrance to the house – they're still scared," she says.


Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal holds a similar opinion. "As mayor I am pretty worried, this calm is quite frightening," he says.


"It is clear that all the Palestinians didn't surrender and they are taking advantage of these days to rearm once again. We've already had a (period of) calm like this and in a few days the rocket barrages will return."


Hanny Moreno, a high school, student who was injured in a rocket attack, also fears that this is merely the calm before the storm: "This doesn't scare me less than the (rocket) fire. I go to school, come back and stay at home because I am still fearful. I don't believe in this calm."


Yossi Swissa adds that Sderot locals are confused by the plethora of stories in the media referring to the existence or non-existence of a ceasefire with Palestinian militants.


Swissa says that the lack of clarity in the situation increases the tension surrounding the recent calm. "Everybody who walks around here sees that there is no routine. The streets are empty, and it also seen in the local businesses here," he notes.


The al-Arabiyya television network reported on Monday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas confirmed that an agreement on a truce between Israel and Hamas had been reached during a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman.


"There is an agreement in principle on this issue," Abbas told reporters at the end of his meeting with the Jordanian king. "Hamas and the Jihad have asked that their leaders would not be hurt, and I believe the Israelis have agreed to this. We are expected to hear about such a deal in the coming days."


The Palestinian remarks contradicted the statements made earlier by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak that there was no agreement between Israel and Hamas.


פרסום ראשון: 03.10.08, 23:32
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