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      Poll: Sderot Residents Wants Gaza Operation, New Gov't

      A new poll reveals that a majority of Sderot’s children suffer from shock. Parents want the IDF back in Gaza and the gov't to resign.
      By Ezra HaLevi
      First Publish: 5/13/2007, 4:04 PM

      A poll published Thursday reveals that a majority of Sderot’s children suffer from shock. Their parents blame the government and overwhelmingly call for an IDF operation in Gaza.

      Ninety-three percent of those surveyed agreed that life in Sderot is either “very horrible” (74%) or “horrible” (19%). The poll found little difference in assessments by voters for either right or left wing parties. Just one percent said it was “very good.”

      A majority (44%) of respondents answered that their children are suffering from panic attacks and other negative effects from the rocket attacks. 22% said their children did not suffer such effects. 44% also said their livelihood had suffered due to the attacks.

      Assessing the performance of the government, 94% agree that its performance with regard to Sderot’s wellbeing has been “very horrible” (71%) or “horrible” (23%). One percent thought the government’s performance has been “very good.”

      Defense Minister Amir Peretz and his family live in Sderot.

      Asked whether Peretz should resign due to his failings, 70% said he should and just 14% believe he should stay on.

      Asked who could bring an end to Kassam rockets on Sderot in Peretz’s stead, a plurality mentioned former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz (29%), who oversaw the Disengagement, with 14% saying Effie Eitam is the man for the job and 12% and 10% for former Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Labor MK Ami Ayalon respectfully.

      Incidentally, Mofaz, now Transportation Minister, voiced his opposition to the idea of sending in IDF ground troops to retake Gaza at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting.

      Mofaz said such a plan would involve “unwanted danger,” according to Israel Radio.

      Regarding the government’s deliberations about whether or not to carry out an extensive military operation in Gaza to bring an end to the firing of Kassam rockets and smuggling of weapons from Egypt, a whopping 87% support such actions, while just one percent opposes. Twelve percent gave other answers.

      Asked a similar question that included likely barrages of Kassam rockets on Sderot during such an operation, 71% of the residents still supported military action, while 8% opposed.

      The same percentage as support the military action (71%) believe Prime Minister Ehud Olmert must resign following the criticism leveled at him in the interim report of the Winograd Committee on the Second Lebanon War. More Kadima voters (76%) want Olmert to resign than Labor voters (75%).

      Asked whether they are considering, or have considered in the past, leaving Sderot due to the security situation, 47% said they had, while 41% said they had not. Twelve percent gave other answers. A strong correlation was measured between age – younger respondents were more likely to consider leaving.

      A majority of residents feel the protest activities of the Committee For Sderot’s Security believe such protest activities have had a positive influence on raising public awareness regarding Sderot’s plight since the 2005 Gaza withdrawal.

      “These results should shock everyone in the State of Israel and be a red light for the heads of the IDF and the government,” Alon Davidi of the Committee For Sderot’s Security said. “The residents of Sderot hold the government directly responsible for the deterioration in security and economic welfare in their city.”