Hundreds of residents of the Gaza border communities protested the situation in the south, calling on the government to make their security a priority at a demonstration held Saturday evening at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square.Protestors waved colorful balloons to symbolize the vast swathes of Israeli land burned by incendiary balloons and kites launched from Gaza in recent months, demonstrating, for the second week in a row, the endless cycle of violence. Protestors also staged a stimulation of the siren, shouting "Code Red" before lying down on the ground with their hands covering their heads, as they have had to do countless times as rockets and mortar shells launched from Gaza have pounded their communities."We want the government and cabinet to bring us peace and quiet for 1,000 years. Not agreements for two months, talks for a year or ceasefire for six months as it has been the last 17 years," said one of the protestors with a megaphone.
Chairman of the Zionist Union Avi Gabbay attended the protest and said: "Four years since Operation Protective Edge and this government has done nothing to prevent the current situation in the south.""In the choice between an agreement and another redundant operation, we are in favor of an agreement. Both because an agreement is better for the residents and also because we do not trust the Bibi-Bennett-Lieberman trio to conduct another operation- we said how they managed Operation Protective Edge."Tammi Artzi, a Tel Aviv resident who came to show her solidarity with the residents of the south told The Jerusalem Post: "The government needs to stop the rockets, kites and balloons." Asked what action she thinks the govenrment should take she responded "it's not for me to say how but the current situation is hurting both sides [Israel and Gaza]."During one of the many sirens sounded as part of the demonstration, a Beersheba resident observed a Tel Avivian dog barking, and remarked: "you can imagine what it's like in the south. The dogs hide under the tables during the sirens." The most recent round of violence was on August 8th, when over 150 projectiles were launched from Gaza, 25 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.After 19 people were injured as a result of the rocket attacks, the Israeli Air Force retaliated, striking over 100 Hamas terror targets.Protesters held banners which included slogans such as: "the south is burning," "wake up government," "the Kassam generation," "the land is burning- until when will there be silence?" and "shame on the Israeli government, there is no quiet, there is no security." Jonathan Weber Rosen contributed to this report.
Local residents protest in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square against violence in the South (Credit: Tamara Zieve)