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Southern Israel's Residents 'Continue to Live' Despite Attacks

Despite escalation in rocket attacks, southern Israel's residents will continue "to live and function normally," says Sdot Negev Mayor.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/15/2011, 12:12 AM / Last Update: 7/15/2011, 6:16 AM

Flash 90

The head of the Sdot Negev Regional Council, Meir Yifrach, said Thursday that despite the recent escalation of rocket attacks on the communities in the region, local residents are keeping their heads held high.

“We’re continuing to live and function normally,” Yifrach told Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew-language news service. “Even though the last rocket fell in the neighboring regional council, we will continue to maintain our normal life despite the Kassams.”

He says that it is not easy to live when terrorists fire rockets on a daily basis. “We hear the booms and the IDF’s firing, it’s become a part of our being.

“Although we shouldn’t get used to this reality, we’re gotten used to the fact that the attacks come in waves. Every Kassam reminds us of things we’d like to forget and raises new fears.”

Yifrach expressed hoped the army reacts firmly to the attacks.

“Our expectation is that the IDF will do whatever it takes,” he said. “We’re a little afraid that if negotiations start again, the terrorists will respond by further escalating the situation.”

He said that he feels, like many other residents do, that the government agencies have reduced their support to residents of the South.

“We did receive assistance, but it’s not coming at the same rate we would like,” said Yifrach. “The enthusiasm to help has gone down and people seem to think we have become accustomed to this reality and that it’s okay, but there’s plenty to do. We want to protect the all the houses in the area. Fortunately the population here is rooted and connected to the ground and will continue to live here, work the land and raise children.”

Meanwhile, the rocket attacks from the Gaza region continued on Thursday, with at least six rockets having been fired at Israeli communities.

The rockets landed in open areas and no injuries or damage was reported. The 'Color Red' anti-rocket alert was activated in the area.

Gaza terrorists also fired a rocket at southern Israel Thursday morning. The projectile landed in an open area in Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council.

No injuries or damage were reported in that incident, either.

Overnight Wednesday, the IDF retaliated by striking two smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza and an additional terrorist tunnel in northern Gaza. All three targets were directly hit, and all aircraft returned to their base safely.

The IDF blamed Hamas, the terror organization which rules the Gaza Strip, for the escalation in attacks and clarified that it “will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli citizens or soldiers, and will know to respond decisively to terrorist activity or firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip where and when it deems fit.”