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June 11, 2019 12:54 pm

Local Security Officials in Southern Israel Protest Lack of State Aid Amid Ongoing Incendiary Balloon Attacks From Gaza

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A fire rages in southern Israel, May 1, 2019. Photo: Tzvika Korbeshi / Eshkol Regional Council.

Two hundred local security coordinators expressed anger and frustration over the ongoing arson terrorism against Israel’s south and its effect on their communities at an emergency conference held on Tuesday.

Thousands of incendiary balloons have been launched at Israel from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip since the “March of Return” riots began last year. They have caused millions of dollars in damage to agricultural lands and nature reserves in southern Israel.

The security coordinators pledged to block roads leading to Gaza border crossings to protest against what they see as government inaction in response to the arson attacks and a general disregard for the security situation in the area, the Israeli news site Mako reported.

Sa’ar Margolis, the security coordinator of Kissufim, slammed the lack of aid southern communities were receiving from the state, saying, “They expect us to go out into the inferno with no equipment, training, or insurance. We do everything in order to ensure security for our residents and receive what we deserve.”

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The security coordinator of Dekel, Nir Shurman, said the southern communities were “dealing with a variety of problems” including budget cuts and lack of resources to deal with the fires.

The Defense Ministry and the IDF Home Front Command recently undertook organizational changes and budget cuts to 430 security coordinators, sparking a massive backlash.

Of the planned protest, Shurman said, “We came to a decision that we will commence a struggle” that will include a campaign for “budgets, authority, and insurance.”

“It cannot be that the army is sending us out to fight the fires without training,” he added.

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