The government must do more to fight terrorism coming from Gaza, mayors from towns by the Gaza border told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a meeting on Sunday.
“For the last two years, we have been in a war that can no longer be ignored,” the mayors said in a statement released after the meeting. “In the last month alone, we were hit by dozens of rockets in parallel with the balloon terrorism from Gaza that has become more serious and dangerous.
“The reality in which our residents live is not moral and cannot continue,” they continued.
On Sunday, at least 11 explosive aerial devices were launched toward southern communities in Israel. In one instance, a young girl found an explosive device which is believed to have flown from the Gaza Strip in her yard in Moshav Shuva. The police detonated the device before it caused any injuries. In another instance, a section of Route 6 was closed to traffic after another device was found on the highway.
Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi, Eshkol Regional Council head Gadi Yarkoni, Hof Ashkelon Regional Council head Itamar Revivo, Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council head Ofir Libstein and Sdot Negev Regional Council head Tamir Idan took part in the meeting.
The mayors told Netanyahu that a triple election cycle does not mean the government can shirk its responsibility for the security of 60,000 Israelis in the area, and Netanyahu signed a document they prepared with understandings of how to help their towns and stabilize their security.
Netanyahu promised the group that he would include their demands in the next government’s coalition agreements and said that Israel is prepared for any possibility, including a broad military operation.
The prime minister praised the strength of the residents of Gaza border towns.
The mayors said that if the government’s policies do not change, their towns will have trouble continuing to grow, and called for Netanyahu to make a change.
Netanyahu instructed the Prime Minister’s Office director-general, Ronen Peretz, to bring forward a government decision to promote the economic development of Gaza border towns and examine the possibility of starting a department in the PMO towards that goal.
Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.