An operation to eliminate Islamist Jihad terror leader Bahaa Abu Al Ata has led to roughly one third of the State of Israel living under the threat of rocket fire.  

As we speak, the security situation in the State of Israel is spiraling out of country.  An operation to eliminate Islamist Jihad terror leader Bahaa Abu Al Ata has led to roughly one third of the State of Israel living under the threat of rocket fire.   As a result, Israeli citizens from Modiin, Rishon Le Tzion and Bat Yam southwards have been bombarded with qassam rockets.   According to the Jerusalem Post, several Israelis have been injured including an eight-year-old girl, who collapsed while running to a bomb shelter in Holon.   She is now in serious condition.

Furthermore, a qassam rocket directly hit a home in Netivot, thus shattering the lives of the people who live there.   As of 1pm today, over 150 rockets were fired into the Jewish state.  This situation is very difficult for the residents of Southern and Central Israel, who are forced to live under a barrage of qassam rocket attacks.  Renanah Suissa, age 9, a resident of Kfar Aza, told IDF Radio: “It is very difficult.  I try to stay optimistic but it is difficult.  I got used to this and it is sad to get used to this.  I don’t want to get used to this.  It is very hard to get out.  People are awoken at 5am.  People are in shock.”

As a result of the present situation, life throughout the State of Israel is presently paralyzed.  Schools from Southern Netanya southwards have been shut down.  However, even in Central Netanya, parents were notified that the preschools are operating in an emergency situation and that Netanya parents should be prepared to pick up their children at any moment.  Holmes Place sent out a notification stating that all of their gyms operating in Central and Southern Israel have been shut down till further notice.

Today, I was supposed to have my salary sent to me from a Rishon LeTzion accountant, who arranges my paycheck and benefits package as an independent journalist.  However, because my salary is forwarded to me via an accountant in Rishon LeTzion, who is presently living under qassam rocket fire, he was not able to send me my paycheck and benefits package like he was supposed to today.  Now, it appears that me receiving my salary depends upon the establishment of a humanitarian cease-fire, which would enable him to leave his bomb shelter long enough in order to send me my money.   Until then, I am in a huge financial mess.  Indeed, this is the humanitarian cost of Israel being forced to shut down work places and banks throughout Central and Southern Israel.  Average people end up losing out financially from this political mess.

However, the present political crisis in Israel is not just financial.  It is also a humanitarian disaster. My husband has a cousin in Bat Yam named Sivan Gamliel.  She told me that already, she had to visit the bomb shelter several times today as qassam rockets dropped into her city and that it is disturbing her everyday life.  She is not able to go to work and to carry out her routine daily life.  Furthermore, she added that if the present situation continues for the next couple of days, she will be moving into my home together with her boyfriend and her dog.   In other words, she will become an internally displaced refugee within her own country.

At this point, I just hope that the play “The Shabbat Dress of Hanneleh” is not canceled by the Netanya Cultural Center.  If it is, I really do not know how I am going to explain that to my 4-year-old daughter Lilach, who is too young to understand what is the Islamic Jihad, what is terrorism and what is war. I don’t want her to be exposed to this kind of stuff just yet.  But if the play that she has been looking forward to for weeks is canceled because of the security situation, what am I as a mother supposed to tell her?  Even though I am a journalist and a verbose woman by my very nature, in this regard, I am speechless.  I don’t know what to tell little Lilach if her play is canceled.

How should the State of Israel respond to this recent crisis?  After all, everyday people throughout the country are suffering.  Mendi Safadi, who heads the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, stated: “It is forbidden for us to put up with the daringness of Gazan terror organizations, who don’t stop provoking Israel and harming the lives of the residents.  They are determining the security arrangements in the South in a country with the strongest military capabilities in the Middle East.   It is inconceivable that the security arrangements will be managed by terror organizations.  The lack of policies and the disregard for the War of Attrition in the South undermines Israel’s national security and resilience.”

“Absorbing and responding without a strategy is not a healthy policy and the equation must change,” Safadi proclaimed.  “The State of Israel should be proactive against the terror organizations and even prevent them from having the ability to respond.  The policy of eliminating terror leaders needs to return in order to deter and show them that they got no immunity.  Ismail Haniyeh, Yahya Sinwar and the others need to be afraid to go underground and to breathe above ground.  To my sorrow, we have failed to stop Gazan terrorism and to preserve the security of the residents of Southern Israel.”

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Rachel Avraham is the President of the Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi Center for Human Rights in Middle East (under formation) and is a political analyst at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, which is run by Mendi Safadi, Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara's former chief of staff. In addition, she is a counter-terror analyst at the Islamic Theology on Counter-Terrorism, a think tank run by British Pakistani dissident Noor Dahri. For over 6 years, she is a Middle East based journalist, covering radical Islam, terrorism, human rights abuses in the Muslim world, minority rights abuses in the Muslim world, women's rights issues in the Muslim world, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Jewish Diaspora, anti-Semitism, international affairs and other issues of importance. Avraham is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media," a ground breaking book that was endorsed by former Israel Consul General Dr. Yitzchak Ben Gad and Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara.