Gaza Belt Residents Say 'War is Not Over' for Them

Following mortar shell fire, one Gaza area resident says panic is rising over the possibility of another war.

Benny Toker,

Residents of southern Israel in bomb shelter
Residents of southern Israel in bomb shelter
Reuters

Anat Heifetz, a member of Kibbutz Nirim in the Gaza Belt, told Arutz Sheva on Wednesday night that the region's residents have been left with a "bad feeling" about the current negotiations in Cairo. 

"We hope that it is a one-time feeling, but there's a feeling that maybe things are starting to deteriorate prior to the expiration of thirty-day ceasefire," Heifetz stated. 

"Everyone knows it's over on Rosh Hashanah [New Year's; next week Wednesday-Friday - ed.], since negotiations were set to resume then," she added. "They talk about the series of political decisions or an permanent solution [to come], but we do not see or hear that we are advancing in that direction."

She said that this uncertainty has led the security situation to become too lax.

"The problem is that no one talks to us, the residents of the Gaza Belt," she added, expressing frustration that the "Prime Minister [Binyamin Netanyahu] spoke explicitly about a political agreement, but nothing has happened." 

Heifetz says that, for Gaza Belt residents, the war is not over.

"There is a sense of constant vigilance," she said. "It's perhaps difficult to understand for those who live here, that those who lived outside the range of mortars, the war is over - but the war is not over for us and it could flare up again at any moment."

Many residents have begun to flee, she added - if temporarily. 

"I hear people around me who are planning to travel up north or to the center for the holidays," she said. Both areas were relatively out of range of rocket fire during, and before, Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. 

Few have spoken about a full-scale evacuation, however.

"Few people are thinking of leaving in the near future," she reflected. "People love this place [the kibbutz] and are staying despite the difficulties."

"But they talk about it, and there are doubts," she added. "As a mother, I often wonder where the line would be to leave here." 

On Tuesday, terrorists in Gaza fired a mortar shell at Israeli civilians. The mortar fell outside one of the local communities with no injuries or damage. 




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