Israel's southern residents: Next Gaza war is 'a matter of time'

By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA, JPOST.COM STAFF
February 28, 2017 18:32

"Obviously the saga of operation Protective Edge is not finished. We expect another round very soon."

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Scene of rocket attack in Ashkelon

Scene of rocket attack in Ashkelon

Residents of Israeli communities in the Gaza vicinity believe that the next round of serious rocket assaults is a matter of time, though those involved in the area's security matters have emphasized that it is not in Hamas's interests to escalate matters.

Shortly after the publication of the State Comptroller's report on the 2014 Gaza war, rocket alert sirens sounded in Southern Israel, though it is unclear if rockets actually fell within Israeli territory. "It is fortunate that we have alerts, and that residents know how to protect themselves," one resident said. "But I want to emphasize that even one rocket fired is not tolerated."

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"We know the next round is a matter of time," added Sharon Calderon, from Moshav Sufa in the Eshkol Regional Council. "Obviously the saga of operation Protective Edge is not finished. We expect another round very soon."

Rafi Babayan, a member of Kibbutz Alumim, said that "I am sure that no one one knows for sure the date of the next round. It could be tomorrow, or in a month or in two years. The other side sees our green fields and flourishing communities and notices that quiet might be worthwhile for them, too. They also have no interest in heating up the conflict."

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Hamas's military wing, Abu Ovadia, has threatened that Hamas would respond harshly to any "new aggression" by the Israeli "enemy" against the Gaza Strip. On Monday, Hamas fired a rocket upon Israel, and the Israeli Air Force struck multiple Gaza targets in response.

"The occupation does not understand anything but force," he said, ignoring the fact that Israeli strikes against Gaza consistently come in response to rocket attacks from Hamas operatives against Israeli territory.




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