Skip to comments.Sderot: Qassams land during president's visit ("Restraint has run its course")
Posted on 06/19/2006 9:14:58 AM PDT by Esther Ruth
Sderot: Qassams land during president's visit
Two rockets land in Sderot area as Katsav, Peretz visit Qassam-battered town. 'I have no intention of making restraint part of my work plan; restraint has run its course,' defense minister says. President: PA leadership directly responsible for rocket attacks. Leaders set to meet with hunger strikers in show of sympathy for residents' distress. Meanwhile, residents agree to end hunger strike at president's request Shmulik Hadad
Hunger strikers in Sderot complied Monday with President Moshe Katsav's request and agreed to end their strike, nine days after it was first declared. However, residents said they plan to carry on with their protest. The strikers' leader, Alon Davidi, stated he was still disappointed that "there is one man afraid of showing up here, and this is the prime minister."
Two Qassam rockets landed Monday afternoon in the Sderot area at the same time President Moshe Katsav was visiting the southern town with Defense Minister Amir Peretz.
One rocket landed north of the town, while the other fell at the local cemetery. A woman suffered from shock, but no damage to property was reported.
Israel Weighs Harsh Response
Hamas leaders to be targeted? / Ilan Marciano
In meeting at Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Defense Minister Peretz says 'Israel operating to convey diplomatic messages to Hamas leaders, but if that doesnt help we definitely plan to step up operations' Full Story
While visiting Mayor Eli Moyals Sderot Municipality office, Katsav said that as far as Israel is concerned the Palestinian leadership is directly responsible (for the rocket fire.) We will not examine each Qassam to determine which faction owns it; the Palestinians have a leadership, they have a chairman, an Authority and a parliament and they are all responsible.
Since the disengagement military action aimed at thwarting their activity has become legitimate, the president added.
Peretz, who accompanied Katsav to Moyals office, said I have no intention of making restraint part of my work plan; restraint has run its course. We have the moral legitimacy to act.
The defense minister added that he is making every effort to stop the Qassam fire, adding that the attacks did indeed stop temporarily after he had relayed a harsh message to leaders of Palestinian groups.
I have the moral legitimacy to act because I am a man of peace, Peretz said.
We have answers and we will not put and the areas children at risk, he said. "I hope that in the coming days we will see a change in the terror organizations and that they will realize that they must halt their fire; there is no distinction among the factions this is the message here.
At the entrance to the town, the two were met by Anat Shaviro (47), a resident of Sderot who complained to them of the fragile security situation, but mostly of her financial difficulties.
I cannot even have a Bar-Mitzvah for my son, she said. Katsav and Peres promised to help her.
'I am sure I will bring calm back to the area'
Peretz and Katsav are set to visit the hunger strikers tent in town, where Sderot residents have been protesting in the last week and-a-half, in a show of sympathy for their distress in face of the ongoing rocket strikes.
Meeting at mayor's office on Qassam fire (Photo: Amir Cohen)
The president's visit has postponed for a short while the locals' plans for an escalation of protest activities, but the town's people stated they will go ahead with the plans once Katsav leaves. In the framework of the protest, Sderot members intend to block the entrances to the town and bar all passage into Sderot.
Earlier Peretz told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee "We are using all the tools and are implementing all the steps before entering a massive operation," hinting that Israel was working to convey diplomatic messages to Hamas leaders.
"If that doesnt help," Peretz said, "I am sure I will bring calm back to the area. I will not allow the fire to continue."
"There is no doubt that the organizations operating today understand our message, but if it does not bring calm, we will definitely step up operations and stop the fire," he added.
Sderot children were treated to a field trip on Monday to get their minds off the routine of rocket drills, at least for a little while.
Twelve buses packed with 550 4th-6th graders arrived at the National Yarkon Park and the Fortress of Antipatrus by Rosh Haayin as part of an initiative by the Nature and Parks Authority.
'Power should be shut down in Gaza'
My parents are already looking for apartments outside of Sderot and Ashkelon because of the Qassams, sixth grader Danny Iskov told Ynet. I dont want to leave my friends though.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for his treatment of the incessant Qassam rocket fire.
The prime minister doesnt see, hear or act because he is abroad all the time, Bibi said. He did not even phone the Sderot mayor, and passed by him in a Knesset corridor as if he was air.
According to Netanyahu, the power should be shut down in Gaza, not in Sderot. The prime ministers primary responsibility is to look after the well-being of all the citizens.
We are with Sderot, he said.
Ilan Marciano contributed to the report
First Published: 06.19.06, 17:14 Latest Update: 06.19.06, 17:49
You know what I miss, the free flowing fantasy.
All the heart warming stories of how Israel's surrender of Gaza and destruction of Jewish homes and lives is a good thing because for one, no more trouble from the Arabs there, and two, if there is any trouble Israel will hit them hard.
Reality is that an Israeli city has become uninhabitable.
Somehow when it comes to us saying "we told you so" the fantasy writers disappear....or get elected to become Israel's Government to screw up some more.
Who is Bandar Bush?
A man so loved by the Bush family he has been designated an Honorary Bush.
That is the only approach that will stop the shell game the Palestinians are playing. It doesn't matter if terrorist are hiding among the innocents. If Israel can do surgical strikes okay, if they can't that's okay too. Israel is entitled to defend itself.
How about just firing missles back?
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