Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi spoke with Arutz Sheva on Monday about the feelings of the residents of the city in the wake of Friday night’s rocket attack in which a home in the city was hit.
"The residents of Sderot and the Gaza envelope are Israel’s finest residents. Anyone who saw on Friday the unity, friendship and love, the assistance the residents provided to each other can only be jealous of them. I am proud to be one of those residents," said Davidi.
"It’s a simple issue, the State of Israel in essence gives immunity to terrorists who shoot at us day in and day out, in this case it's the commander of the northern district of the Islamic Jihad, who commands squads that fire missiles designed to hit and kill us. We are abandoning the first alliance the state wrote with its residents, its duty to protect them and, in this case, to destroy and kill the enemy, beyond the operation we are talking about. Things are only deteriorating and, in the end, we will carry out this operation in the face of a stronger Hamas and a stronger Jihad,” he added.
Davidi said that he does not believe, as others do, that the political situation is holding the government back from responding to the rocket fire.
"I think whoever gives the reasons of Iran, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon is simply looking for excuses, because the threat from Iran is a possibility, but the threat to residents of Sderot and the Gaza envelope is not a possibility but rather a situation that has been going on for two years. This equation that citizens are the ones protecting the country is a very serious thing.”
"I heard Gantz, Liberman, Netanyahu and Bennett say that if only they were defense ministers and prime ministers, they would have the solution and the situation would be resolved. In that case, I invite them to set up an emergency government for the residents of the south and address this problem. I say this to the leadership in the government and the IDF, we must do it now. We will continue to develop the city that used to be a ghost town, that 6,000 residents left and in the last five years 8,000 new residents joined, 3,500 housing units were added, 6 new neighborhoods were built, we’re leading in education and community services. This is a city of good residents, but no one should say that because we somehow manage that we have to continue this way."
Asked whether the residents of Sderot need to protest in order to turn things around, Davidi replied, "It is not us who need to protest. My job is to lead the municipal authority and do the best I can. I am not in charge of the army or the Cabinet. In my most recent conversation with the Prime Minister, I told him, ‘We must return to the method of targeted killings, the method we used in Operation Defensive Shield and Operation Protective Edge.’ I hear reporters who tell me that I am a warmonger and that we already lived in this reality, so yes, we lived this reality and it was quiet for four years. Today we do not even have quiet for one week."
Sderot and the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council will hold a nighttime race this Thursday, and Davidi invited everyone to participate, making clear he has no plans of managing the lives of the residents under wraps so that the enemy does not know when to attack.
“Our job is to live in our city and my role is to turn Sderot into the best city in Israel, and the role of the Chief of Staff and the Defense Minister and of the Cabinet is to provide the security we need. It is clear to me that the situation is complex and that the country is threatened. This is not a new reality. You always have to worry about a lot of arenas, but you also shouldn’t have to raise a generation of children who grow up thinking that their fate is in the hands of a criminal terrorist from Gaza."
Listen to the full interview with Mayor Alon Davidi (in Hebrew) below: