Sderot: Protests Continue as Wounded Battle For Lives
Ten-year-old Yossi Haimov, who suffered serious injuries in a recent rocket attack on Sderot, remains in serious condition in Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center, doctors reported Wednesday. Haimov is currently in isolation due to fear of infection, they said.
Doctors managed to save Haimov’s badly injured arm in a complex surgery earlier in the week. However, they said Wednesday, Haimov will have to undergo more operations when his condition allows. Even with the operations, Haimov will remain disabled in one hand, they said.
Sderot Merchants Block Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Road
Business owners from Sderot are blocking traffic in an impromptu demonstration on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road at this hour. Dozens of merchants and their supporters are on their way to a rally to be held Tuesday evening across from the home of Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On.
The protest is a continuation of a series of rolling demonstrations designed to force the government to fortify homes in the Gaza Belt area as well as finding other, immediate ways to protect the residents in the area.
Constant rocket attacks continue to batter the region; a 10-year-old boy, a one-year-old baby boy and his mother were all wounded in a Kassam rocket barrage in Sderot Monday. Several other people were treated for shock.
Sderot-Based Group Rejects Knesset Prize
Members of the "Gvanim" nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to finding jobs for disabled residents in Sderot and other western Negev communities, rejected the Knesset Speaker's Prize for Quality of Life on Tuesday.
"We cannot accept a prize for quality of life in a place when lives are not protected," said the group's chairman, who led the organization's members wearing shirts bearing the slogan, "We want life in Sderot," during the ceremony.
Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik nonetheless complimented the group for at least attending the ceremony and conducting themselves "in a civil manner." She acknowledged the group's reasons for turning down the award.
Gaza Belt Families Sue Defense Minister
Seventy families from Sderot and other Gaza Belt communities petitioned the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday to force Defense Minister Ehud Barak to allow the IDF to implement a laser cannon system in the western Negev. The system, called the Nautilus, is capable of intercepting short-range missiles, and thus might be used to block Kassam rocket attacks on the besieged communities.
The families contended in their suit against the Defense Minister that the Nautilus could be put into action in six months, as opposed to the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, which is not scheduled to be put into place for another two years. They also said the Iron Dome system is less effective because it only begins to shoot down missiles at a specific range, which may not protect their communities when Kassam rockets and mortar shells are fired from close range. Sderot is located less than a mile away from the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, a favorite site used by terrorists to launch attacks on Israel.