Israel’s southern residents react with anger to truce with Hamas

Israel’s southern residents say they lost this round with Hamas.

By David Isaac, World Israel News 

Israel’s southern residents appear to be largely dissatisfied when they woke on Monday morning to discover that a ceasefire was in place, Ynet news reports.

“I think it’s a failure for Netanyahu, and I’m sorry I persuaded people to vote for him,” Baruch from the city of Ashkelon told Ynet.

“We got 700 rockets and terrified children. Two days we didn’t sleep at night. We didn’t work and we hid in our homes, and what did Netanyahu do – went with them to a cease-fire,” he said. “Gaza determines when to start the war and when to stop it.”

Another Ashkelon resident, Yaki, said he was skeptical about the ceasefire. He told Ynet, “In my opinion, this is a temporary situation. It is still scary and stressful to leave the house. I think we lost this round. Four dead are unacceptable to us.”

The ceasefire wasn’t officially announced by the Israeli government, in keeping with standard policy. But it was clear that one existed as the IDF lifted restrictions meant to protect southern residents and called for schools, that had been cancelled, to reconvene.

Mor, a resident of Netivot, a city located between Beer Sheba and Gaza, told Ynet she was surprised to learn from Israel’s Home Front Command to let children return to kindergartens on such short notice.

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“When we got up in the morning, we suddenly saw the Home Front Command’s announcement and soon began to organize the children and drive back home. It’s impossible to open kindergartens at half an hour’s notice. The teachers are not the regular kindergarten teachers our kids are used to. This past is another emotional jolt for them, “Mor said.

Shula from Sderot, a city that has experienced the most rockets, said to Ynet, “There is tension and fear in the air. We have had very difficult days. I do not believe in this ceasefire, we always have hope, not for the first time, we have lived this reality for so many years, but the scope of the last round was unusual even for us.”

Residents of Israel’s south have lived with rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip since Israel abandoned that territory in 2005, destroying the homes of some 10,000 Jewish residents who lived there in the process.

The rocket attacks, which had been directed at Jewish residents living within the strip, soon turned outwards, targeting residents of what’s become known as the Gaza Envelope, the area surrounding the Gaza Strip.

The rocket attacks have left the southern residents traumatized. Israel’s Arutz 20 reported on Monday that over the last 48 hours there has been a 300 percent climb in the number of cases of people suffering from shock in Israel’s south.

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“There are moments I can’t remember, where I lost consciousness,”  ‘H,’ a resident of Beer Sheba, told the Mako news site, who has suffered severe attacks of anxiety after living through earlier Gaza strikes. Although a full-time mother, she says that when an attack is coming on, her husband has to take over.

The most recent barrage caused her to suffer another “episode.” She was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Israel’s southern residents have held many protests in the past against what they view as their government’s soft response to Hamas’s terror campaigns.