Palestinian Authority terrorists in northern Gaza launched a combined rocket-and-mortar attack on Jewish towns in the western Negev Tuesday morning. Two Kassam rockets and four mortar shells fired by enemy forces exploded harmlessly in open fields, causing no
3,000 residents of... Sderot have fled to safer quarters in the last six months.
injuries or damage.
As the latest rockets fell on the Negev, the Yediot Acharonot newspaper reported that 3,000 residents of the bombarded Negev city of Sderot have fled to safer quarters in the last six months alone. The flight reportedly reached its highest pitch this past summer, during which Gaza terrorists launched more than 1,500 rockets at the city.
Even when Kassams cause no injuries or damage, tens of thousands of Israeli civilians in the region must make a mad dash for safety, as the 40-second video below documents.
In reaction to the Yediot report, the Chairman of the Committee for a Secure Sderot, Alon Davidi, said, "If it is accurate - and I emphasize, if it is - then it is a very serious situation. Those numbers must mark a bright red line.... The government's failing policies are dismantling the city."
In Davidi's view, the key to maintaining the life of Sderot at this point is the elimination of the Kassam threat from the PA. He sees only one way to bring that about: "The IDF must launch a ground war into Gaza, or we will continue experiencing this drain."
In addition to calling for a large IDF operation in Gaza to put an end to the Kassams, the committee for a Secure Sderot is also working to increase the population of the city. "We don't count on the government of Israel," Davidi said. "We must act on our own to bring more families here," despite the obvious difficulties.
Since 2000, the start of the current PA terror campaign against Israel also known as the Oslo War, more than 6,200 Kassam rockets have been launched at the Jewish towns including Sderot. Varying estimates indicate that between 15 to 25 percent of Sderot's population of 24,000 has left the city either temporarily or permanently over the last six years. A total of approximately 40,000 people reside in western Negev communities within range of the Kassam rockets regularly fired from PA-controlled Gaza.
One of those people living under the constant threat of PA rocket attack is Sderot resident Adina Mastbaum, 29, a mother of four. Speaking with Israel National News on Tuesday, she expressed sorrow at the reports of civilian flight from her city: "It is a shame. We came here to build up the Negev." At the same time, she said, perhaps the publication of the extent of the phenomenon will make "people realize what a catastrophe we are living in." Yet, Mastbaum expressed doubt that the message would have any impact in the halls of government.