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Sderot Orphan: "If Sderot Goes, the Whole Country Goes"

A 12-year-old boy who lost his father in a Kassam attack last week speaks emotionally, but directly and clearly, about his new situation and what he thinks the government should do.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 11/27/2006, 10:48 AM / Last Update: 11/27/2006, 11:08 AM

Arutz-7 TV's Gabi Newman spoke with 12-year-old Chanan Yaakobov, a pupil in the local religious school, whose father Yaakov was killed by a Kassam rocket six days ago. A video of the moving interview can be seen in both Hebrew and with an English translation. A transcript:

Q. ...What was the first thing you thought?
A. I thought how would I have a life without my father. I don't... I said to myself, aaah, without my father, I have no life.

Q. Do you want to continue living here in Sderot?
A. (firmly) Yes.

Q. Why? Why is it important to you?
A. Because, I very much love the State of Israel. If I and my cousins leave Sderot, we could do it in a day. But if we do, then the State would simply fall apart. Because if Sderot falls apart, then the whole country goes with it. If the Hamas terrorists see that they succeeded in emptying out Sderot, then they will say, we finished with Sderot, and then they will send Kassams to Ashkelon, and then we will lose Ashkelon, and then the same with Ashdod - and then the same thing with the whole country, that's it, nothing will be left of Israel. All the Jews will be scattered in places that - I don't know where they will be able to go...

Q. if the Prime Minister was here now, what would you say to him?
A. I wouldn't want to speak with him, I would tell him to get out of here, I - I would give him a kick, or throw stones at him - I don't know what I would do to him.

Q. And Amir Peretz, who lives here - what would you say to him.
A. I would tell him to go away, I wouldn't want to talk to him, I don't even want to see him. Because if the people of Sderot were important to him, a long time ago - and I mean a long time ago - he would have done what he should...

Asked about the government, Chanan said with great emphasis:
[I want] the Defense Minister and Olmert to - to say that they can't do it. They should let Bibi Netanyahu and [Avigdor] Lieberman take their place. [Gesturing emphatically with his hand] They should give up their places in the government! ... If you can do it, then I want to see your answer! I ask of you - and if not, then [eyes welling up] give up your places, but quickly! Quickly! I, the son of Yaakov, I turn to you [with choked voice]: Give up your places in the Knesset! Give them up!"

Ambivalence in Sderot
Residents are ambivalent about the ceasefire agreed upon yesterday by the Israeli government and PA leaders. "I personally am very happy to have a day in which I don't have to worry about Kassams," says Alon Davidi, who has led much of the local protests against government inaction. "But I know that it's not good for the State of Israel. This arrangement will merely give the terrorists more time to re-arm and prepare for the next round."