Photo: Roee Idan
Rockets launched in Gaza fighting round
Photo: Roee Idan

5 years since Operation Protective Edge, how is the south doing?

Analysis: Residents say the shorter rounds of fighting that suddenly start and last a day are more unnerving than the 2014 war while mental health professionals call it shaving off a layer of resilience each time

Marking five years since the 2014 operation called Protective Edge, through the eyes of the border communities brings home the reality of life under constant threat



There is no sense of security along the border. The first three and a half years after the fighting, residents in the south felt secure and enjoyed a semblance of normalcy but that has since dissipated. Residents say the question is not whether fighting will resume but when it will resume.


IDF troops along the Gaza border (Photo: Roee Idan)
IDF troops along the Gaza border (Photo: Roee Idan)

The 2014 war left many residents scarred after living under intense fire and having to find refuge further north with family, friends or in temporary housing.


The goal of the fighting according to the political leadership, was to destroy Hamas attack tunnels dug into Israel. That goal had been reached with most tunnels destroyed in the years following the fighting.


A land barrier is being built on the Israeli side of the border some of it over ground and some dug deep into the ground to prevent tunnel infiltration. The tunnel system in Gaza is believed to be inside the strip, still posing danger in case of incursions but not crossing over the border.


Land barrier built along the border with Gaza
Land barrier built along the border with Gaza


Residents in border communities are generally pleased to see the progression of the barrier and it is expected to be completed by 2020.

Today their concerns are focused on the scourge of the past 15 months: the incendiary balloons and kites.


Fire near Kibbutz Nir Am (Photo: Avi Roccah)
Fire near Kibbutz Nir Am (Photo: Avi Roccah)

Since the end of the 2014 campaign, there have been 12 rounds of fighting with heavy missile and rocket fire launched at civilian communities along the border, further destabilizing their lives and well being.


Mental health services in the south report a rise in demands for help especially from children.


Residents in border communites near Gaza celebrate  Pentecost
Residents in border communites near Gaza celebrate Pentecost

"each round of fighting seems to shave off another layer of resilience from the residents here" said a senior member of the social welfare services in a closed session held recently.


Residents angrily demand the government take-action to find a long-term solution and restore calm to the area.




"After the 2014 fighting the government had a chance to promote a long-term agreement that included rehabilitation of Gaza but did nothing. This is a failure of the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu", says Alon Shuster, Member of Knesset for the Blue and White Party and former local mayor.


פרסום ראשון: 07.08.19, 07:55
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