Avner Shimoni, Chairman of the Gaza Coast Regional Council, has written a letter to Prime Minister Sharon with a simple request: "Please, do justice!" The reference is to the lack of "front-line area" status for the Jewish communities of Gaza - the Gush Katif bloc, Kfar Darom, and Netzarim - whereas nearby Sderot has recently been granted that standing and its accompanying economic benefits.
Shimoni included a graph in his letter, showing that of the almost 19,000 terror attacks against Israel in the past three years, more than half have been perpetrated in Gaza, despite its relatively minuscule size. IDF statistics updated on Tuesday show 10,096 attacks in Gaza, 7,917 in Judea and Samaria, and 758 in the rest of Israel during the Oslo War.
"According to our daily security charts," Shimoni writes, "over 3,000 Kassam rockets, mortar shells and anti-tanks missiles have exploded within Gaza Coast Regional Council areas, killing one soldier and wounding dozens of civilians... It is inconceivable that our area should not be considered a 'front-line,' while Sderot [and environs] received that status after only [less than 300] such attacks - without the shootings, roadside bombs and attempted infiltrations that we suffer."
Speaking with Arutz-7 this morning, Shimoni explained the practical ramifications:
"Sderot residents now receive a 13% income tax benefit, while we get - zero! The same is true with payments to the Ministry of Education and the like. This is simply unjust -- and all this when some left-wing MKs and others continue to claim that Yesha receives all the benefits and is using up the country's money..."