Qassam rocket (archives)
Photo: Ze'ev Trachtman
'Closer and closer.' Mayor Buskila
Photo: Sderot media center

South fears return to pre-Gaza war days

After period of relative calm, number of rockets, mortars fired towards Negev in recent days, including Yom Kippur. Local council heads call for government action to prevent further deterioration in security situation

"The atmosphere during Yom Kippur was very tense; there is a sense that we are gradually returning to the days of increased attacks from Gaza," Sderot Mayor David Buskila told Ynet Monday night.


IDF helicopters were hovering above the Negev region all day Monday, and echoes of nearby rocket landings were clearly heard by Sderot's residents.


"This is not massive fire, but the Qassams and mortar shells are getting closer and closer to population hubs," said Buskila. 


"In the month that followed Operation Cast Lead  there was a single rocket launching towards Israel, but now it's almost routine. We are continuing to count on the army, and I hope the political echelon will find a solution to this as well," added the mayor. "We need quiet in order to rehabilitate the destruction."


Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council Head Alon Schuster said he does not believe the attacks emanating from Gaza will cease. "The blows the IDF is dealing them (Palestinians) may be good for morale, but they will certainly not stop these hooligans to stop firing.


"This situation requires a solution, both on a military and civilian level, so that people here will be able to continue living their lives," he said.


Eshkol Regional Council Head Haim Yalin reiterated Schuster's sentiment, saying the sporadic rocket fire "is taking us back to the situation that prevailed here eight-and-a-half-years ago. Apparently the government has no control over what is happening.


"I hope there won’t be a second Operation Cast Lead, because in war everyone pays a price," he said.


A resident of a kibbutz located in the Sdot Negev Regional Council, which was hit by two rockets on Monday, said the army's offensive in the Hamas-ruled territory did not achieve "total deterrence," adding that it is in the Palestinian terrorists' interest to "give us the sense that there is always an enemy on the other side."


Ilana Curiel contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 09.28.09, 23:52
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