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Gaza Belt Leaders See Ceasefire as Surrender

'We wanted to see Hamas defeated and begging for its life; instead we see Israel running to the negotiating table'.
By Ido Ben Porat, Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/27/2014, 8:50 AM

Soldier in abandoned Nahal Oz
Soldier in abandoned Nahal Oz
Flash 90

The heads of local government in the Gaza Belt region are sorely disappointed with the prime minister for accepting a ceasefire with Hamas.

Tamir Idan, who heads the Sdot Negev Regional Council, said that “if the reports in the mdeia are right, and the agreement for a ceasefire is for one month only, in which Hamas's demands for constructing ports will be discussed, then this is a surrender to terror.”

He also refused to accept Israel's lack of response to a last minute attack by Hamas that killed two men in Kibbutz Nirim Tuesday.

"Israel's tacit acceptance that it is alright [for Hamas] to fire without limits, and without a response, before the ceasefire goes into force, is a very grave matter. We demand that the Israeli government and the IDF stand behind their commitment to respond in a meaningful way to any fire.”

Itamar Shimoni, Mayor of Ashkelon, said that any conmpromise with Hamas is a surrender to terror. “The residents of Israel and the south wanted to see a decision in this campaign, but this will apparently not happen,” he stated.

"We wanted to see Hamas defeated and begging for its life; instead we see Israel running to the negotiating table at every opportunity,” he added. “We did not lose 64 fighters and five civilians, including a four-year-old boy, for this 'achievement'. We did not sit in the shelters and protected spaces for almost two months for this 'achievement'. We did not take a harsh economic blow, in which businesses collapsed, for this 'achievement'. We expected a lot more than this.”

"Hamas raised demands through violence, and it seems they can expect to get what they wanted. The conclusion is that the path of terror pays off, and therefore the next round of fighting is just a matter of time. As far as I am concerned, a ceasefire agreement in this reality means starting to prepare the systems in Ashkelon for the next round, and it will be more grave and lethal than anything we have known up to now.”

The head of the Eshkol Council, Haim Yelin, said that he will not ask the residents of his region to return to their homes. “In Jerusalem there appears to be a ceasefire. I don't know what they are talking about,” he told Channel 10 news. “In Jerusalem they feel safe, and in some neighborhoods of Gaza they feel safe, but not us. We went into a war of attrition in which we paid with the lives of families and deep pain of the wounded. The government was unprepared for this war.”