Hundreds of Israelis spent the first day of Passover demonstrating in Sderot, the southern Israeli town pummeled by Palestinian rockets for years.
Sderot has become the frontline of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict since Israel’s withdrawal of Gaza’s Jewish residents nearly two years ago.
"The message of Sderot to the terrorists is that after the residents of Gush Katif were torn from their homes, they will never tear us away from Sderot,” said Knesset Member Effie Eitam. “The government must work hard to restore calm in the region. We cannot repeat the 'Lebanon syndrome,' by ignoring reality and allowing Hamas to gain power."
Alon Shuster, head of Sha'ar Hanegev regional council, demanded that the government do more to protect Sderot and other Gaza-perimeter communities and demanded the administration strongly respond to the six consecutive years of missile attacks.
“I call on the prime minister, who claims to be ‘doing his job’, to quit the ploys and start doing some real work. He must order the IDF to act with a firm hand - to bring back hope to the children of Sderot,” he said.
The demonstration started with a march around the town from a post overlooking Beit Hanoun in Gaza. Ironically, gunfire from the Gaza Strip interrupted the march when three Palestinians tried to place an explosive device on the border fence and Israeli soldiers had opened fire at them, killing one. None of the demonstrators were harmed.