A rocket fired from Gaza Tuesday night shattered the short-lived calm in southern Israel. All agree that action is required, but what is the proper response?
The 21 days of relative peace and quiet enjoyed by the residents of Israel’s South after Operation Protective Edge were abruptly ended Tuesday night by a rocket fired by terrorists from Gaza.
The breach of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has reawakened residents’ fears that their lives may again be threatened by Hamas rockets on a daily basis. Furthermore, the designated end of the month-long ceasefire coincides with Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which is to be celebrated next week. Many have already canceled their holiday plans at home and intend to leave for a more secure location.
‘We Were Not Surprised at all’
Resident Adi Pauker told the Israeli NRG news site that the breach of the ceasefire was to be expected: “Unfortunately, we have already gotten used to this, and we are not surprised at all. We have been nervous since the end of the operation, and are waiting to see what will happen at the end of the month, when the ceasefire is over.”
“There are many families that don’t want to be here,” Danny Cohen of Kibbutz Ein Hashloshah told Ynet news site, “There are many fears, even if you disregard last night’s fire. People are afraid of Hamas’ plans. Some families have chosen not to spend the holiday here. The traditional festivities this year will be much smaller. One-hundred-and-fifty people participated last year, but this year only 60 will attend.”
Romy Shehory of Kibbutz Nirim will be leaving her home during the holiday: “We thought – why stay here? Why wait for Hamas to catch us unprepared? We will celebrate the holiday far away. If things are not calm – we will stay there…even if we are told there will be peace – we don’t believe it.”
Action is Required
Haim Yellin, Head of the Eshkol Regional Council in which the rocket landed, responded to the renewed fire by calling on Israel’s government to act more decisively: “It is not clear yet if the rocket was the result of internal training in Gaza or intentional fire at the communities. One way or another, we will not accept sporadic fire at our towns. Israel’s leadership will be tested by the way it chooses to defend its citizens; will it lead to a long-term agreement that will bring peace to the region, or will it continue the unending cycle of violence.”
Yellin believes the ultimate solution rests in an agreement with Hamas: “We have the most powerful army in the world. We should not fear to negotiate to bring the desired peace to the south. We expect Israel’s government to act to bring calm to the area in the same decisiveness with which the IDF fought to neutralize the tunnel threat.”
Fire Should be Met with Fire
Member of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) stated that fire should be met with fire: “The IDF must respond with force to any breach of the ceasefire. This is a test for Israel’s force of deterrence. The lack of a proper response will bring Israel’s citizens back to a routine of alarms.”
MK Danny Danon (Likud) also called for action: “Only 21 days have passed and we are back to the drizzling of terror from the Gaza Strip. Restraint now means the acceptances of this situation.”
Israeli officials estimate that the peace will be maintained despite the rocket fire Tuesday night, Israel’s Channel 10 reports. The rockets allegedly were not fired by Hamas, which is currently not interested in renewing the fire, and there are reports that they have even arrested the perpetrators of Tuesday night’s attack.
Author: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel