Israelis recall terror under rocket fire, fume at government inaction

Running constantly to safe rooms during missile strikes from Gaza, Israeli citizens are angry over the government and IDF’s weak response.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

City of Ashkelon residents now join towns like Sderot, Netivot, and other villages closer to the Gaza belt, in running repeatedly to safe rooms over the last 36 hours as Hamas lobbed hundreds of missiles at Israel.

School was cancelled Tuesday across the south for security reasons, including in Beersheba, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat and Kiryat Malachi, which until now have escaped the bombardment.

Citizens as far away as the Lachish region (some 60 km from Gaza) have been told to stay close to their shelters, and the army has ordered that there be no large gatherings in open areas throughout the south for the day.

One Ashkelon resident, Ruthi Mozgorashvilli, ran to safety seconds before a missile hit her apartment on Monday.

“I was alone at home. I ran to the safe room when the siren sounded. Suddenly the whole living-room ceiling fell in. I’m still in shock,” the middle-aged woman told Israel Hayom, describing her moments of sheer terror.

“The safe room saved my life even though I didn’t have time to close its metal shutter. … When it hit, there was such a loud boom. I’ll never forget that boom. When I went out of the room it was completely dark, because the electricity had gone out. I heard people screaming at me, “Get out!”

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Angry citizens

With hundreds of thousands of people need to dash to shelter every time a siren sounds, the citizenry’s sense of safety has vanished – and they are not being quiet about it.

“Tell Bibi [Netanyahu] that this is the last straw,” said one man in Ashkelon to the news site 0404. “Enough already, he has to put an end to this madness. We are not willing to suffer any more.”

A woman name Osnat added, “What, are they really blind up there? They’re willing to see us running all the time with babies in our arms? To see Grandpa barely able to get up, and stressed out over the possibility of someone in the family getting hurt?”

Another threatened to hit the politicians where it would hurt – at the ballot box – if something wasn’t done.

“We demand that the government of Israel, Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Liberman, wake up,” said Sharon Yisraeli, who lives on the twelfth floor of a building that was hit three floors below.

“If they want to see a building get hit and collapse – it will happen. We’re not going to continue this way, it’s gone on for years. We’ll meet at election time,” Yisraeli said.

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The IDF reports hitting some 150 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets since Sunday night.

“In the last 24 hours, we have carried out a very, very significant attack on Hamas and the other organizations in Gaza,” said a senior air force source to the 0404 news site Tuesday morning. “The attack is fundamentally different than what we have done in the past, both quantitatively and qualitatively, in terms of the targets.”

But the reports have not appeased Israel’s southern residents.