Sderot Media Center: IDF Has Solution to Rockets

The director of the Sderot Media Center says he believes the army can resolve the problem of Kassam rocket attacks if the government will allow it.

Hana Levi Julian ,

Sderot woman in shock after Kassam attack
Sderot woman in shock after Kassam attack
(Flash 90)

The IDF can handle the problem of the unending Kassam rocket attacks on Sderot and other communities in the western Negev, according to Sderot Media Center director Noam Bedein – if allowed by the political establishment "and the world" to do so.

Speaking with IsraelNationalNews after a morning in which more than a dozen Kassam rockets slammed into the city, Bedein said that the IDF is not doing everything in its power to halt the attacks.

"We have to do what is right for our own people. The army does have solutions; it can definitely resolve the problem of the rockets……. but the issue isn't whether they can or they can't. The issue is, we have to try to do everything in our power to end this nightmare – which we are not doing now."

Sderot man ducking during Kassam rocket attack
(Flash 90)

He said the longer the government waits to untie the IDF's hands, the more dangerous the situation is. "In the past two and a half years since the Disengagement, Hamas has accomplished what it took other terrorist groups 20 years to achieve. Hamas terrorists are being trained in Iran," he noted bluntly. "They're well trained, well equipped and their arsenal is growing."

Bedein described Thursday morning's scene as parents left work to pick up their hysterical children after a barrage of rockets slammed into the city just as children were walking to school and adults were going to work.

"There is no question the children were deeply traumatized," said Bedein. "So were the adults. You spend the day wondering when and where the [Color Red rocket alert] siren is going to catch you, whether you will have time to reach a shelter, where the rocket is going to hit… it is psychological terror and every day that passes makes it worse."

Sderot woman in shock after Kassam rocket attack
(Flash 90)

While the Kassams and mortar shells are raining down on Israelis in the western Negev, the government is fighting a petition by 30 Sderot families asking the Supreme Court to force the government to keep its promise and fortify 800 homes in the Gaza belt area.

State Prosecution attorney told the court Wednesday that fortifying homes in Sderot would set a "significant precedent" that would lead to the government having to fortify hundreds of thousands of homes in larger cities as the rocket ranges grow longer.

Bedein said that time is not far away. "More than 190,000 Israelis are already living under the threat of the rockets today, including Ashkelon and Netivot, both of which are now within rocket range. In 2008 that number will grow to 250,000 Israelis living under the threat of rocket attacks," he said.

Hamas is also quite wealthy, despite its declarations that Gaza is in a humanitarian crisis due to Israel's security measures. There are hundreds of smuggler tunnels into Gaza," said Bedein, "and every time someone brings something in Hamas takes a fee of $3,000.  "It can be anything – drugs, weapons, ammunition, people or any other contraband."

More than 160 tons of ammunition has been smuggled into Gaza since the [August 2005] Disengagement, he noted, but the pace has picked up dramatically since Hamas took over Gaza in June 2007. "Since then, smugglers are bringing in at least one ton of ammunition a day," he said.

Dealing with attacks from Hamas-run Gaza and the thousands of terrorists who live there will also mean Israel having to live with the fact that the job cannot be accomplished without civilian casualties.

"According to the IDF, approximately 97 percent of all terrorist targets are embedded in the civilian population. It's a problem for Israel, because we have the eyes of the world trained on us. Israel feels it has to have casualties on its side to have the legitimacy of the world to go in and end the attacks," Bedein said.

It will take that one mass casualty attack that everyone fears before the Israeli government decides to untie the hands of the IDF, he added. "Nothing is going to move until there's blood."