According to a mother who lives near the Gaza border, the Israeli leadership is dedicating its security efforts to the north while ignoring the situation in southern Israel.
Gaza rocket lands in Israel (archive) Photo Credit: Israel Police Spokesperson
Residents near the Gaza border endured yet another night of unrest that sent them into bomb shelters after two rounds of attacks from Gaza. While they have grown accustomed to dealing with the consequences of living close to the border, they still feel threatened with every new round of clashes between the two sides.
“We woke up this morning after a night of sirens. I didn’t know if I should wake the kids up now or wait for [the older ones] to go to school. I have bigger kids and younger ones and the dilemma of what to say to whom is big,” the resident recounted.
In talking about the fear she has to face now that Hamas is using various new attack and intimidation tactics, such as fire kites and balloons, the mother said: “You live with the feeling like you can be shot at any minute, feeling like sitting ducks at a shooting range, and it gets worse because their arsenal is getting bigger.” She added: “The body may not be injured, but the soul becomes injured and scarred.”
Speaking about the ceasefire that was supposedly agreed upon last week between Hamas and Israel, she said that she cannot trust her neighbors, meaning the residents of Gaza, but added that she also cannot trust the Israeli leaders. “We had three days of quiet, but we knew it was coming. We trust neither our neighbors nor our leadership,” she said, adding that the ceasefire didn’t actually occur because Gazans continued to fly fire kites into Israel.
Referring to statements recently made by Israeli politicians about the need to focus on threats along Israel’s northern border, the resident explained that she and her neighbors feel like they are “second-class citizens.”
“The politicians said over the weekend that it’s important to concentrate on the northern [part of Israel] and not the Gaza border region, so does that mean that we are not as important as all the rest of the country?” she said.
Meanwhile, Gadi Yarkoni, who is the head of the Eshkol Regional Council in the southern Negev region, referred to the growing tensions in the past week, claiming that the situation indeed did not constitute of state of “quiet.”
“We will not agree to a reality of sporadic shooting towards us. We communicate with the military on a regular basis, and there is no change in directives given to residents according to our latest evaluations,” he said. “The army has informed us that Iron Dome batteries have been spread across the region and are now serving as a new and significant tier in terms of our safety. This has been evidenced by the successful interception last night by the Iron Dome. We trust that the IDF knows how to make the right decisions in conjunction with politicians to bring back long-term peace.”