Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sderot in the blitz

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/12/sderot-in-blitz.html

Another day, another bombardment
By Tobias Buck
Published: December 7 2007 01:15 | Last updated: December 7 2007 01:15
 
The small Israeli town of Sderot is enveloping itself in a blanket of concrete. The grey material is everywhere. Schools and nurseries crouch below hulking canopies, dozens of bomb-shelters dot the urban landscape and even the bulletproof windows of one school have been provided with thick overhanging slabs.
 
One by one, the town's open-air bus stops are being replaced with concrete cubicles. Painted bright yellow, the roadside shelters are adorned on the inside with hastily scribbled insults to Hamas, the Islamist group, and other graffiti, one of which reads: "Relax – we are praying."
 
The profusion of concrete is a determined, but ultimately futile, attempt to shield Sderot's 20,000 citizens from the Qassam rockets that are fired into the town every day. Launched by Palestinian militants from northern Gaza, the home-made rockets have just a few kilometres to travel before impact, leaving residents with no more than 20 seconds to seek refuge.

"It's like Russian roulette. If it's your day you are finished," says Tiger Avraham, the head of the local paramedic team. "Children don't go outside and you cannot walk far from home. It's hard to live like this."
 
Worn out by the daily alarms and the constant threat to their families, more and more residents are giving up. About 2,000 people have departed this year alone, says Yosef Cohen, the spokesman for the municipality.
 
"Those who are capable financially have left but the poor can't leave," he says.
 
The line of fire

More than 7,300 Qassam rockets and mortars have been fired at Sderot and surrounding areas in the past six years, killing 12 people. Earlier versions of the rocket had a range of 3km and carried 500g of explosives, but today's can travel 10km and are packed with up to 20kg of explosives as well as metal pellets. Their accuracy is poor and the vast majority land in open space.
 
For the citizens of Sderot, the rockets have become a daily source of anxiety. But for Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, they are one of the biggest challenges he faces as he embarks on a round of intense peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
 
Mr Olmert's political opponents asked how he could go to last month's peace conference at Annapolis and launch talks on Palestinian statehood while an Israeli town was under attack. He also remains vulnerable to criticism over his predecessor's decision two years ago to pull out Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip. Mr Olmert, a senior cabinet member at the time, supported the withdrawal.
 
Now his inability to stop the incoming Qassams – along with last year's botched war in Lebanon – is fuelling perceptions that he is weak and lacks the military expertise Israelis expect from their leaders.
 
Israel's military planners are tormented by the thought of a Qassam blowing up a Sderot school bus or inflicting a large number of civilian deaths through a direct hit. They believe the inevitable outcry would force them to launch a large-scale operation in the densely populated Gaza Strip – a move that would result in heavy casualties on both sides and almost certainly stop the peace talks in their tracks.
 
"There is no general in the Israeli defence forces who likes this idea," says a senior defence official. "But if we do it, it will be because of some massacre that we cannot tolerate."
 
 


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/12/sderot-in-blitz.html. Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment



<< Home


FREE EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION
Subscribe to
ZNN
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by groups.yahoo.com


Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israël in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israpundit
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Z-Word
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
UN-Biased
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Zionism
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog
Liberticracia
CNPublications
SEO

Reference
Zionism
Anti-Semitism
Anti-Zionism
Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Bible
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Islamism
Jihad
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Israel
Jew
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism
Russian

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Experimental
Isfake lobby
Mysterology

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products
Mezuzah

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]


RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory