Dichter: Israelis apathetic about Gaza

Public security minister implores cabinet to stop gunfire from Gaza; says IDF meant to guard border.

dichter shooting 24 88 (photo credit: David M. Weinberg)
dichter shooting 24 88
(photo credit: David M. Weinberg)
"The Israeli public is far too apathetic about [the situation in] Sderot and the communities around Gaza," Public Security Minister Avi Dichter told the cabinet Sunday. "Last night there was a red alert in Ashkelon that sent 120,000 people into shelters. It happened right next to most of Israel's population," he continued. Dichter, whose aide Mati Gill was shot by a Palestinian sniper near the border with the Gaza Strip on Friday, pointed out that "an Israeli citizen getting shot would not have gotten any media coverage if he wasn't the Public security minister's aide." Dichter also rejected allegations that his visit to the area wasn't coordinated with security forces. He stressed that "the IDF is meant to guard the areas around the [Gaza-Israel] border, and Palestinians aren't meant to have access to these areas." Dichter went on to say that "two weeks ago the cabinet directed the IDF to bring about an end to the gunfire [from Gaza], and it has not diminished at all. I expect the prime minister to open a discussion in cabinet and in the government in order to authorize a plan to stop the firing." In the meantime, an argument arose during a meeting between Dichter and Vice Premier Haim Ramon, after Ramon said that a plan to ease restrictions on the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria should be promoted. Dichter replied that terrorism hasn't effectively been stopped by Palestinian security organizations, and that "raising their standard of living will only serve to raise the level of Israeli deaths."