Despite rockets, Israelis visit north

Less than 48-hours after rockets land in Western Galilee, Israelis go north to hike, swim. Man at Achziv beach with family told Ynet: "No place is safe… worst case we'll run to a shelter"

Despite the rocket attack on the Galilee Thursday, scores of families and travelers arrived in the area Saturday to enjoy the north's beautiful scenery and specifically the popular Achziv beach.


Only 48-hours after a Grad missile landed in Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv, only a few kilometers from the popular shore, beach-goers could be seen tanning, swimming and enjoying what remains of their summer break. "No place is safe," they explained.


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"We came for an organized hike with The Society for the Protection of Nature (in Israel)," Yarden Mintz told Ynet. "Two days ago, when the Katyushas fell, coincidently I was also here. And today (Saturday) I wasn't afraid to bring my children here.


Achziv beach (Photo: Avihu Shapira)


"Me and my wife spoke about it and we decided to come anyway. It seemed to me a very limited incident. Everything is so calm and quiet here, but we know what can happen here at any given moment. My home community took rocket hits during (the Second Lebanon War in) 2006, and it happened in Eilat as well."


Amir Ofek from Nokdim was with his wife and son in the Achziv beach: "We asked ourselves whether to come or not, and we decided that in the worst case we'll run to a sheltered area. There are attacks everywhere in the country, no place is safe or at least all places are equally unsafe. We're even spending the night.

Family at Achziv beach (Photo: Avihu Shapira)


Shila from Tel Aviv stressed that she had come from the Tel Avivian Bubble (a term used to describe Tel Aviv's disconnection to the rest of the country). According to her she did not even hear about the rockets until this morning. "Why shouldn't we come here?" she asked rhetorically, "she we not go to Greece now because of the economic situation there?"


Besides the Grad which fell in Gesher HaZiv and additional rocket fell in Shavei Tzion, exploding near a retirement home for holocaust survivors. One additional rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.


Rocket damage. Gesher HaZiv (Photo: Avihu Shapira)


According to current assessments, the rocket attack was perpetrated by radical anti-Hezbollah groups who want harm Israel as much as they wish to entangle Hezbollah in a direct conflict with Israel in a bid to punish the group for its role in supporting Bashar Assad in Syria.


The radical Sunni jihadist group, Abdullah Azzam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack and slammed Hezbollah in a tweet on Thursday: "The Iranian party Hezbollah's mission to protect Jews will become a burden."


Internal Security Minister Itzhak Aharonovitch visited the Gesher HaZiv site Friday and sent a message to Lebanon and jihadists group responsible for the attack: "If this will continue, our response will be much more severe."



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פרסום ראשון: 08.24.13, 14:38
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