Sderot licking wounds after fatal day of Kassams

Thursday, November 16, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
A day after the fatal Kassam attack on Sderot, life has not been back to normal in the city as schools go on strike despite promise to finish all fortifications, and reactions from the political echelons warn Palestinians of retaliations for every Kassam attack.

One day after a woman was killed and two men were seriously injured in several Kassam attacks on the city of Sderot and the western Negev, the Sderot Parents Association had decided to shut down the city’s main high school Thursday in protest of the continuing Kassam attacks, in addition to the already closed elementary school at the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council.

The strike comes despite encouraging numbers from the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command which indicate that most of the school fortifications in the western Negev and Sderot area are close to being completed. The numbers indicate that 56 out of the 150 kindergartens, three out of the five high schools, and all 16 of the elementary schools have already been fortified. The rest of the high schools are expected to be fortified within the next two weeks, and the kindergartens within four months.

The reactions to the attacks have been a mixture of promises of retaliatory attacks to targeted assassinations of terror leaders. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reacted to the attacks from Los Angeles while on an official visit and said that the activities against the Kassams will continue with no relent. “We will reach every Kassam launcher,” he said. Olmert also criticized the Security Council for not discussing a condemnation of the ongoing Kassam attacks on Israel.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz said that Israel will “act against anyone who is involved in the Kassam attacks, from the heads of the organizations, to the last of the activists.” One of Peretz’s bodyguards was severely injured in Wednesday’s attack.

Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who spoke to the new Al-Jazeerah English language network, said that Israel will stop attacking as soon as the Palestinians stop launching Kassams at Israel. “Israel is just reacting to the Palestinian attacks.”

Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman took a much more militant approach as he said that there is a need to target the Hamas leaders personally and destroy every structure identified with the terror groups, while avoiding hurting civilians as much as possible. Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said he does not think the IDF’s present actions are enough and called on them to increase their efforts to hit the launchers.

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