Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with southern leaders. Photo: Haim Zach – GPO
Despite the cease-fire with Hamas, many residents of the Gaza perimeter have made it clear that they have no plans to return home without a long-term peace, Israel’s NRG News reported Wednesday.
“We respect the cease-fire, but will not send the children to school so quickly,” one resident of Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, adjacent to Gaza, said on Wednesday. “We do not believe in false cease-fires.”
Over a hundred members of the kibbutz remain in the Rabin Youth Hostel in Jerusalem, and where they have made it clear that they will accept no promise to return home without a long-term peace deal with the Islamic group that rained over 4,000 rockets and mortars on Israel during the 50 days of Operation Protective Edge, itself meant to foil thousands of similar attacks up until then.
“We’re waiting for a real quiet,” said Merav Cohen, who is with her four children at the hostel. “After having been called back once already, with all our bags, we no longer believe in the government and any false ceasefires.”
Cohen stressed that, “Our precious children’s lives are everything to us. Nobody’s going back to anywhere until our neighbors over the fence are disarmed. We are willing to wait as long as needed and have all the patience in the world.
“We’re gritting our teeth, just like the defense minister [Moshe Ya’alon] said [during a recent visit with residents], until there’s a long-term solution. A month-long cease-fire just makes fools out of us,” Cohen adamantly concluded.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “Hamas was hit hard and it did not receive even a single one of the conditions that it set for a cease-fire, not even one.”
Netanyahu said, however, that it was “still too early to say,” if Israel could expect “prolonged calm.”
“…but I can say that the harsh blow that Hamas and the terrorist organizations have taken, as well as our ability, via border controls, to prevent their rearming increase the chances that this goal will be achieved,” he said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to say that if it resumes firing, we will not tolerate sporadic firing at any part of the State of Israel and how we have responded up until now – we will respond with even greater strength. We are prepared for any possibility,” Netanyahu said.
However, Eshkol Regional Council Chairman Haim Yellin completely backed up the residents refusal to return, and unequivocally urged them to stay where they were, far from the Gaza perimeter. He’s doubtful of any long-term cease-fire, too.
On Thursday, Netanyahu met in Beersheba with regional mayors and leaders like Yellin, and promised help.
“On Sunday, we will submit a major aid package for the residents of the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and – later on – a general assistance package for the entire south,” Netanyahu promised.
However, Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni, who boycotted the meeting in protest over the apparent lack of a practical government response, was doubtful.
“An absurd situation …read more
Source:: The Algemeiner