Tuesday, June 26, 2012

26-Jun-12: Leaders of regional councils under fire from Gaza: "Protecting our children from daily Hamas terror has sadly become our top priority"

March 2012: Running urgently for shelter in the community of
Nitzan, south of Ashdod as yet another in the endless stream
of Gazan missiles is detected on its way towards the area in the ongoing
search for more and more Israeli victims. An astonishing 13,000 incoming 
rockets in ten years - and no end in sight. [Image Source]

Haim Yellin, Alon Shuster and Yair Farjun are respectively the heads of the Eshkol Regional Council, the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council and the Hof Ashqelon Regional Council. We write about all three of these southern Israel local government units frequently. They have the misfortune of being the Israeli communities closest to the Hamas-ridden Gaza Strip.

The three regional leaders addressed the British public some days ago via an open letter published in the Telegraph. Some excerpts:
  • The 130 rockets that were fired on our region over the last few days constitute a sad but all too familiar scenario. Imagine, rockets were falling on your family, your home, your community. Protecting our children from daily Hamas terror has sadly become our top priority.
  • Ominously, taking advantage of instability in Egypt and an increase in arms smuggling by terrorists in Sinai, rockets were launched from Sinai as well as neighbouring Gaza. 
  • None of this is news. Our small region has been the target of 13,000 rockets fired from Gaza in a decade. More than one million Israelis are in range, living under a cloud of constant fear. The latest bombardment on our homes barely made a scratch on international headlines or the agendas of world leaders. It seems the sheer regularity of attacks has dulled global sensitivities to our communities’ plight. 
  • Of course, we are not the only ones suffering from the ongoing tension in our region. We fully recognise the difficulties facing Palestinians in Gaza. But responsibility for their woes rests solely with Hamas.
  • We have no quarrel with Gaza’s citizens and yearn to join with them once more in peaceful partnership. When Israel voluntarily withdrew from Gaza in 2005, we hoped that Gazans would be able to build their own businesses, develop a successful economy and establish a rule of law founded on basic freedoms. However, having seized power in Gaza in 2007, Hamas instead prioritised the import of weapons with which to attack Israel, developing a complex network of tunnels to smuggle arms from Iran via Sinai. The result has been a conflict which continues to threaten the security of the very civilians Hamas is bound to protect. 
  • The people of Gaza deserve better than Hamas.

The full UK Telegraph article is here

With a Moslem Brotherhood government forming itself in Egypt, there are very few optimistic voices to be heard over here on our side of the fence. There have been 13,000 rockets fired into southern Israel on a regular (and routine) basis for some years. Intelligence estimates are that the same thuggish terrorists who did the firing now have three times (or more) that number of rockets, missiles and mortars ready to go on command.

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