Southern Residents Defiant in Face of Rocket Attacks
In an interview Thursday, Haim Yellin, head of the Eshkol Regional Council, said that the latest round of rocket attacks on southern Israel will not interrupt the daily lives of residents. “We have never stopped our normal lives in the past, and will not do so now,” he told Channel Ten.
School, for example, is in session Thursday morning, despite the numerous rocket attacks on the region on Wednesday night. “If we had closed school every time we got hit by a rocket the twelfth grade students would still be in ninth grade,” he said.
Over 60 rockets fell on southern Israel beginning Wednesday night, setting off the Red Alert alarm system in dozens of towns. No injuries and only minor damage were reported. Yellin said that an alarm went off at 1:20 AM Thursday morning. “We haven't faced this kind of onslaught since over a year ago, before Operation Pillar of Defense” in November 2012. “It's not for me to give instructions to the leaders of Israel, but we want the kind of quiet we had after that operation,” Yellin said.
Yellin added that Purim celebrations will go on as usual. “We are not going to stop our celebration of Purim, unless the army tells us to. I think a lot of children will want to dress up as rockets and mortar shells,” he said.
In response to the attacks, the Israeli Air Force struck dozens of terror targets belonging to Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza. Analysts on Israel Radio Thursday morning said they expected another round of rocket attacks later Thursday, as Gaza terrorists respond to the IAF attacks. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a sharp warning to terrorist groups Wednesday, stating, “If there is no quiet in southern Israel, there will be a big noise in Gaza.”
The defense and security cabinet is set to hold a discussion later Thursday to decide on further action.