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December 22, 2014 12:41 pm

Israelis May Be Evacuated From Frontline Areas in Future Clashes With Gaza Terrorists (VIDEO)

avatar by Dave Bender

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Schoolchildren, and a dog, at Kibbutz Nir Oz examine Kassam rocket damage to a kindergarten (Illustration, photo: Dave Bender)

Schoolchildren, and a dog, at Kibbutz Nir Oz examine Kassam rocket damage to a kindergarten (Illustration, photo: Dave Bender)

In a dramatic policy shift, Israel’s Home Front Command will recommend that residents in dozens of communities near the border with Gaza be evacuated in the event of any new sustained clash between the IDF and terrorist rocket and mortar fire, Israel Defense said Monday.

Towns and kibbutzim within seven kilometers of the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave suffered the bulk of over 4,000 rockets and mortars fired by terrorists during this summer’s Operation Protective Edge.

The much heralded Iron Dome anti-missile system, while capable of knocking mid-range (roughly 7 to 80 kilometers) rockets like Qassams and longer-range Grads out of the sky, is far less able to lock on to and hit smaller, short-range mortar shells.

The issue of mortars made the lives of border-area residents almost impossible, due to the fact that there was often no more than five seconds’ warning before the munition hit, limiting the ability of even fast-moving residents to take shelter in protected spaces.

During the fighting, several civilians and soldiers were killed by the incessant mortar fire into Israeli areas adjacent to the border, among them the tragic death of 4-year-old Daniel Tregerman, who was killed by mortar shell shrapnel near his home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz on Aug. 22.

In the wake of the attack, and similar mortar salvos, many residents opted to temporarily move out of immediate rocket range, staying with relatives and friends, and in other host communities for the duration of the 51-day conflict.

“Only 80 out of 360 residents of the kibbutz remained after the lethal attack,” according to Nahal Oz spokeswoman Yanina Barnea. “There was a brief respite, but the fighting has resumed, and we can’t let this continue,” Barnea said.

According to Kibbutz Nirim resident, Adele Raemer, “the problem is, this has been done privately until now, either at the expense of the families themselves, and/or of the kibbutzim. Even families that were in Mishmar Haemek (where Nirim sent their people) had to pay a certain amount per person, per day,” she told The Algemeiner.

“The residents of the area complained about this to the government, and claimed (I believe, rightfully so) that if there is a war here (even though for economic and political reasons it was not declared as such officially) the price of being evacuated should NOT fall on the shoulders of private citizens, who live in this precarious situation every day, as is.”

At a Defense Ministry meeting during the operation, discussions arose to implement a program dubbed “Hotel Guest,” which the National Emergency Authority (NEA), developed in the wake of the 2006 war with Hezbollah.

In that month-long conflict, about a million Israelis were either in shelters or evacuated to areas beyond the range of some 4,000 Katyusha rockets fired at Haifa and the coast, the whole of the Galilee, and the Tiberias area.

The basic idea of a ‘haven’ is the evacuation of vulnerable populations, especially children and the elderly, and in some cases entire families, from areas that are under serious threat from rockets and mortars.

Russian-Israeli billionaire Arkadi Gaydamak paid for recreation centers and camps for rocket-battered northern residents, until the ministry organized its own facility – on the last day of the war.

At the beginning of the Gaza fighting, it was decided not to run the guest hotel program. However, an urgent evacuation of residents near the Gaza Strip to guest houses eventually took place on August 23, during the last two days of the operation, and only after Tregerman’s death.

Photos of the hasty departures and distrust by Gaza-border residents of both the IDF and security establishment’s ability to end the rocket fire was seized upon by Hamas as a major psychological coup.

On Friday, two girls out for a walk at Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, near Gaza, used a “selfie stick” to film themselves as they strolled along. Suddenly, a Red Alert incoming rocket siren began to wail. As they fled for shelter, they left the camera’s video running, filming their terrified race for shelter and safety:

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  • steven L

    Unless they plan to eliminate Hamas, this may be a victory for the fanatics.

  • Israel Peace at what price
    I realize that this will not sound very nice to those of you, like myself, who were born and raised in a modern post-World War era; but peace is really not all it is cracked up to be. I say this because people who are not direct parties to a conflict like to use the word as a positive good, when in fact, it often has a negative outcome.

    The classic definition of peace is an absence of hostilities by the parties to a conflict and a mutually-agreed upon cessation of hostilities does not seem to apply here. This technicality is the stumbling block between peaceful co-existence between us and the Palestinians. On paper, they appear to want peaceful relations with us; but in reality, they spend almost all their time and energies on supporting BDS movements and incitement in the press and in their schools and they have been doing this since Oslo. If someone dedicates a town square to someone who has died while committing a suicide bombing, this is not a peace we can live with, nor should the international community be insisting upon it and expecting us to accept this condition. There is no such thing as an expression of peaceful intention by use of high explosives. There is also no such thing as a “freedom fighter” when one already has the freedom to do as they please as long as it is done in a peaceful manner. When someone tries to rob an innocent individual of their right to life, they are merely your garden-variety terrorist.

    Surely, it is nice to have quiet contiguous borders with one’s neighbors, but when does the quiet achieved become a zero-sum gain? The answer is: when your neighbors with whom you have reached a peace agreement still want you dead and out of the way. Peace at any price is an absurdity, both from a historical point of view as well as a practical approach to life. By its very nature, a lasting and stabilizing peace cannot be achieved between two parties who have vastly different approaches to life. Certainly, you can sit down with your enemies and discuss and then reach a kind of accord after considering borders, commerce and the like, and later make all kinds of pronouncements to your own political parties and your peoples. But this is not actual peace, either. And any politician who waves the banner of promised peaceful co-existence between two or more diametrically opposed peoples is being highly disingenuous, if not downright delusional and dishonest. Why do I believe this? Because no one really needs peace in order to exist as a nation and here is my proof:
    The State of Israel has been in existence since 1948, give or take a few thousand years. In all that time, Israel has been set upon by a multitude of enemies from Assyrians to Greeks to Romans to Persians to every Arab nation on earth. All who have sworn to destroy the Jews and Judea and the modern State of Israel and have embarked upon their campaigns to make a reality of their words have so far been wildly unsuccessful. We have not only survived, we have thrived, and all that has been achieved was carried out while in a virtual state of war with all our neighbors. Evidently, there is something in our DNA that makes this reality occur throughout our history. If only our enemies realized this, they would be beating down our doors to sign peace agreements with us and then stick to them and we would cease to exist as a nation. As for those with whom we have an “uneasy peace?” When they stop fighting amongst themselves, they will once again turn their attention to our destruction. Using history as our guide, it is inevitable.
    Here is another thing to mull over while our politicians attempt to garner favor with the electorate by throwing the word “peace” around willy-nilly. It is an election cycle and people say things that make nice sound bites but have no real chance of ever happening. They recognize that people are tired of war and hatred; but unless and until the inflammatory comments and incitefull rhetoric of hatred ceases from both sides to the conflict, there will be no peace. Perhaps it is time we stop looking for something which will never occur and focus on the reality. We simply do not need the Palestinians in our lives. We never have needed them, although they like to insist that we do. Likewise, we do not need anything from them. We do not need their resources and we do not need them in order to survive. That is another myth thrown around by them to ensure they keep getting the trillions of dollars they have already received and wasted from the EU, United States, Russia and the Arab world. It would be nice if someone turned off their money spigot and made them work for themselves and for their own state. And here, I am not talking about a physical “disengagement” from the Palestinians; but rather, a complete and total severance of all interactions, both security and commercial relationships. We have access to two seas and airspace to the world. Let the Palestinians find their own borders and make their own agreements with other nations. They will find the Egyptians amenable to their requests for border access as soon as they stop importing terror under their borders and killing Egyptian soldiers and policemen.
    We have already done the heavy lifting and have achieved much and will achieve more in the future. It should be obvious by now that the Palestinians are not interested in peace with us. Let the rest of the world figure that out for themselves. Let countries that claim we “occupy” the Palestinians give them land and resources and moneyË—Ë—lots and lots of money. Let Sweden, Denmark and Norway call us names. Who cares what they think, anyway? Rarely has anyone bombed their cafes, schools, bars and shopping malls, much less aimed missiles at them on a regular basis. These are countries that opened their borders to Nazis without stopping their military juggernaut. Perhaps when the Palestinians start flooding their countries with their own brand of jihadi ideology, suicide bombings and weaponry from Syria, Iran, China, North Korea and Russia, we can just sit back and watch. It is time for us to admit to ourselves that the Palestinians are big on racist incitement against us, but not really into that whole “love thy neighbor” and “we want peace” thing.

  • Bernard Ross

    absurd that the GOI, instead of fulfilling their responsibility to protect the citizens from a gang firing small rockets they want everyone to move; what a bunch of useless incompetents. Destroy gaza, bomb it to cinders and rockets will end. Forget the Geneva conventions as it is unobserved by the enemy. Perhaps all the Jews should leave israel using this absurd logic. Bomb gaza to cinders and leave nothing standing before risking one Israeli life and before moving Jews. This has made the gang of terrorists successful what is the use of this vast military machine of the Idf if they are afraid to use It?

  • Theodore Sternberg

    This’ll make the next Gaza war just that much more likely.

    I kinda liked the old days, when it was Israel’s neighbors that left the border regions largely depopulated.

  • rachel robinson

    i see no comments. where are they? why are they hidden??

  • art

    Like the old kibbutzim of 48 the able bodied should stay to anchor a defense while non combatants should be evacuated if possible. Otherwise hamas/pa will cause the towns to be permanently evacuated. If Israel is forced to launch a major campaign in Gaza this time hamas/jihad etc must be crippled and disarmed. world opinion has already condemned Israel for the future actions regardless of what actually occurs so JUST get the job done

  • Israel Peace – The Win-Win solution

    What remains now is for all parties to courageously and boldly cast off the mindless schemes of Oslo and the Road Map and return to the sanity and statesmanship of the 1919 agreement. Those Arabs who have an acquired identity as ‘Arab-Palestinian’ should be given a far better alternative option than to be buried alive inside a non-viable illegal micro-state carved out of the Israeli heartland. You must take into account that the Arab Countries have expelled over one million Jews, confiscated their homes and assets.
    The Win-Win solution

    Contrary to popular belief, the Arab-Israeli conflict has a reasonable solution. An orderly resettlement elsewhere of the so-called Palestinian Arabs would solve this long-standing ‘intractable’ problem. To propose this solution today elicits automatic rejection by almost everyone and perhaps even anger and hostility at its very mention (although attitudes may finally be changing). This is because the minds of many have been so thoroughly conditioned, with layer upon layer of repeated falsehoods, such that open-minded reconsideration is almost impossible. But resettlement could become the basis of a win-win solution for both sides.
    For example Saudi Arabia comprises some 750,000 square miles. It has a very low population density of only 33 per square mile vs. 1,000 for Israel including the territories. A modest 4% of Saudi Arabia, some 30,000 square miles, should be set aside for a new Palestinian state. That state would be 13 times the size of the present Palestinian area proposed under the Road Map and would now have ample space for natural growth. All of the intractable problems facing both Jews and Arabs, arising under the present schemes, would be eliminated. The Palestinians could now construct their own state with full political independence, self-rule and full dignity. The sources of friction between them and Israel would now be removed along with all the immense human and material costs associated with the current conflict.
    Palestinians could begin using their legitimate ‘right of return’ to exit the territories, and the refugee camps, and migrate back to their ancestral home in Arabia and thereby also be closer to Mecca and Medina. A fraction of the countless billions spent on weapons by the Arab governments could fund the cost of establishing new settlements for the Palestinians. Israel would be free of Arabs, and the Palestinians would be free of Israel. The deep wounds of both peoples would now have a chance to heal.
    In early 2004 a poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion shows 37% willing to emigrate in return for a home, a job and $250,000. And this is before a far better deal has been offered, including true self-rule, peace and security, plus their own ample territory. What if ‘Palestinians’ were offered a homeland territory, drawn from lands donated by one of the more spacious Arab countries, one expressing continuous concern, love for, and outrage at the treatment of these very same folk?
    Israeli Arabs could play a constructive role in this because of their higher level of education and their experience living as full citizens in democratic Israel. They would become the managerial and entrepreneurial class and provide valuable assistance and leadership for fellow Palestinians who were stagnating in refugee camps inside other Arab countries. This crime was committed by their own brother Arabs, who refused to allow them to settle.
    Once the migration starts toward a far better future the movement could well accelerate voluntarily because the first ones to relocate would receive the best ‘ground floor’ opportunities and the last ones to move would get what remains. Today there are tens of millions of people on the move around the world in search of better living conditions, so relocation is a long established and viable option for everyone.
    Another important advantage is that Israeli-Palestinian interaction would be limited to the selling of Arab homes in the territories and an orderly exit. No more frustratingly complex agreements as with Oslo where Israel honors all commitments and Arabs violate all commitments, and even U.S. assurances often prove worthless. The less need for Israel to depend on agreements with Arabs, Europeans and even Americans the better.
    Part of the problem are those Arab governments who deliberately keep the Israel-Palestinian conflict alive to divert attention from their own corrupt regimes. Also, western governments still pander to their corrupt Arab clients for purely expedient reasons. But new progressive voices are emerging among Arab intellectuals and even among some Muslim clerics that call for Arab societal reform, and who also recognize Jewish rights in the land of Israel. These voices need to be encouraged and enlisted in this quest for sanity.
    Another option is to set the Palestinians in Sinai this proposal was made after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It should be reconsidered.
    What is also needed is Saudi cooperation and active support. The Saudis have long been responsible for promoting anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, and anti-American hatred along with funding terror and the teaching of a hateful form of Islam. With their ‘royal’ family of thousands of princes living lavishly, off of oil income and the labor of foreign workers, they are a cesspool of corruption that even Osama bin Laden finds offensive.
    It is time to demand that the Saudis make a major contribution to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. They caused much of the problem and they must now assist with the solution. It is time for the Bush administration to make the Saudis ‘an offer they can’t refuse’ and have them realize they have a direct interest in providing ‘land for peace’.
    For too long many people have labored under a collective mindset resembling a bad dream where big lies become entrenched wisdom and truth is constantly strangled. Unless we change direction there will be dire consequences extending well beyond the peoples of the region. Those who still have minds and morals intact now have an obligation to think clearly and with sanity and support this approach to finally resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.
    The mandates for Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine were assigned by the Supreme Court of the League of Nations at its San Remo meeting in April 1920. Negotiations between Great Britain and the United States with regard to the Palestine mandate were successfully concluded in May 1922, and approved by the Council of the League of Nations in July 1922. The mandates for Palestine and Syria came into force simultaneously on September 29, 1922. In this document, the League of Nations recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”