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May 28, 2015 12:42 pm

Southern Israelis Call for Stronger Response to Gaza Rocket Fire

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Qassam rocket launchers in Gaza. Rocket fire launched from the Gaza Strip hit the Gan Yavne area near Ashdod on Tuesday. Photo: Israel Defense Forces. – Following Tuesday’s rocket fire launched from the Gaza Strip into the Gan Yavne area near Ashdod, residents of southern Israel are demanding a tougher response to the cross-border rocket attacks from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian enclave.

“I expect our country to respond with force to any rocket fired into Israel,” said Daniel Matari, a resident of Kerem Shalom, an Israeli town bordering on Gaza.

“It is unfathomable that every time Hamas and Islamic Jihad have an argument, we pay the price. It has become a terrible routine, and we should not have to suffer their rocket fire,” Matari said, Israel Hayom reported. Tuesday’s rocket fire was reportedly the result of an internal dispute between commanders of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups, though Israel holds Gaza-ruling Hamas responsible for any fire emanating from the area.

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Though the Israeli Air Force struck four terrorist targets in southern Gaza in the early hours of Wednesday morning in response to the rocket fire, Matari believes stronger retaliation is needed to truly end the violence.

“Israel should have a zero tolerance policy for rocket fire of any kind, sporadic or otherwise,” he said. “Though we have lived through worse, and we may not be as frightened anymore by a rocket here or there, it is time for this to come to an end.”

David Timsit, a father of three who lives in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, is similarly frustrated with the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza. “There was a period when things were calm, but a rocket fired late at night when many families are at home is stressful and frightening,” he said.

“Enough with these soft responses [by Israel],” Timsit said. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, no matter what the enlightened Western world thinks about it. I would like to see how they would react to rocket fire on their hometowns in the evenings.”

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