Taking shelter in Sderot (file)
Taking shelter in Sderot (file) Israel news photo: Flash 90

Every local authority or regional council in Israel is scheduled to hold an emergency war drill next week, during which two "Code Red" sirens will go off. 

According to MK Haim Yellin (Yesh Atid), former head of the Eshkol Regional Council, this year, unlike previous years, the Southern Command and Home Front Command wish to sound sirens even in Gaza Belt communities. 

Yellin strongly opposes the move and has sent an urgent letter to Defense Minister MK Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) over the issue. 

"Almost a year has passed since we suffered incessant shelling in the Gaza Belt," Yellin stated. "[It caused the] loss of civilians, soldiers, friends and children. This has been a year of coping and a year of rehabilitation."

Yellin noted that Regional Council staff and several other authorities are "making a great effort to hasten the process of recovery and a return to a sense of security" in the area and advised against the drill.  

"Unlike the other regions in the country, 'Code Red' has become part of our lives in the Gaza Belt, part of raising children [there]," he noted. "The alarm stops us from breathing, gets our hearts pounding." 

Yellin added that he has received many inquiries, both from professionals and from citizens from the Gaza Belt area, over whether the drill can be cancelled - after multiple appeals to the Southern Command and IDF Home Front Command did not help. 

"Gaza Belt residents deal bravely with the security situation [all the time], and do not need to be reminded in the painful form of a Code Red siren," he concluded. "I urge you to cancel this decision immediately."