Wounded worker evacuated
Photo: Hertzel Yosef
Council Head Haim Yellin
Photo: Shai Shmueli

Farmers fear losing foreign workers to rocket threat

Tuesday's rocket attack wounds Thai workers; owner of damaged farm alarmed they will leave her due to fear of rockets. 'Our farming is entirely based on these workers,' she says. Meanwhile, head of Eshkol Regional Council sends letter to defense minister, claiming government can't expect citizens to serve in IDF if State abandons them

The farmers in the south must face a daily threat to their lives and livelihood, in the form of rockets fired from Gaza. Following the rocket barrage on Tuesday, which wounded five people, some farmers have had to face a new threat – that of the foreign workers, without whom they could not run their farms, deserting them.


Rina Rahamim, who owns the farm that was damaged by a rocket in Eshkol Regional Council, had to face this threat when two of her Thai workers were wounded, one of them moderately, by the attack.


Rahamim's translator spoke to the workers and told her that they were scared, but would remain in the meantime, as they needed their jobs. Rahamim, however, still fears that if the attacks continue, the fright will overcome this necessity and the foreign workers will abandon her.


"If they decide to leave," she said, "we and the rest of the farmers here will suffer total economic collapse. Our farming is entirely based on these workers."


According to Rahamim, there is no way to fortify the work area. "In order to do so we need a lot of money – money we don't have, because we invest it in our farming… I don't know what I'll do if my workers are taken away," she said.


Letter to Barak

Following the rocket attack Tuesday, Haim Yellin, head of Eshkol Regional Council, sent a letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak. "We are all bearing witness to the decreasing number of people enlisting in the IDF," he wrote in the letter, which has come to Ynet's attention.


"Without justifying the phenomenon, I cannot disassociate the government's repudiation of its citizens from the citizens' repudiation of their government. A government that does not offer security, physical or social, cannot require its citizens to risk their lives for its sake."


Yellin launched the letter following the incident Tuesday morning, during which five people were wounded by a rocket that hit the Eshkol Regional Council. In it, Yellin condemned the conduct of many ministers and Knesset members who, in his opinion, have abandoned Sderot and the Gaza vicinity.


"The State of Israel is totally immersed in the affair of Ehud Olmert's cash envelopes," Yellin wrote. "Police are investigating, the prosecution is preparing an indictment, and the media is busy with the question of whether his actions were felonies or 'just' immoral.


The discussion about the immorality of Olmert's deed is so turbulent that it doesn't leave room for a different discussion, many times as urgent and many times as fateful: The immorality of abandoning the residents of Sderot, Ashkelon, and the Gaza vicinity to the Qassam and Grad rocket attacks from Gaza."


Yellin claimed that while expressing their opinions on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's affair, the ministers remain totally silent about everything that has to do with the south. He called on all politicians not to look towards Olmert, but towards themselves: "The moral obligation belongs to each and every one of you," he wrote.


פרסום ראשון: 06.03.08, 20:46
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