'Next round of fighting not a question of 'if' - only of 'when'

Minister Bennett calls for crushing victory against Israel's enemies at memorial for Sderot girl murdered shielding brother from rocket.

Uzi Baruch,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Education Minister Naftali Bennett spoke this morning at a memorial service for Sderot teenager Ella Abukasis, who was murdered in 2005 in her Negev hometown while shielding her brother from an incoming Qassam rocket.

“Today, too, they continue to threaten us; continue to try and harm us. Against an enemy which sends its children to protect terrorists, we send soldiers to protect children. But this did not save Ella.

“The dangers these days are becoming greater, from Gaza and from Lebanon. The next round of fighting is not a question of ‘if’ but only of ‘when,’ and this time we need to finish it not with a stalemate, but with a definitive victory, so as to prevent a round after which we will not be the only country in the world whose children cannot walk in the streets without danger that an enemy rocket will fall on them. Our enemy invests all its time and resources towards efforts to kill us.

“Instead of building life, they invest in building tools of death. Only with a definitive victory over the enemy will we put an end to it.”

On January 15, 2005, Ella was returning to her home after activity with her youth group in the town of Sderot near Gaza. Walking beside her was her young brother Tamir Yaakov. When a red alert siren was suddenly heard, signalling the launch of a rocket from Gaza, Ella hugged her brother to protect him.

The rocket exploded near them; Tamir Yaakov was lightly wounded, but Ella suffered severe head wounds.

She was transferred to the hospital in critical condition and, a week later, her death was confirmed.

17 years of age at her passing, she left behind her parents, two sisters, and two brothers.




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