Photo Credit: MK Haim Jelin twitter
Israeli farmer fighting fire in his fields near Gaza

“The lack of response weakens us and leads to despair,” residents of the Gaza envelope settlements who woke up to another dawn of sirens and rockets told Channel 2 News. They also shared how much they resented the statements made to them by a military official that a harsh response would lead to war, so retaliations must remain tepid.

Israeli media reported on Sunday that a senior military official told the residents of the Gaza perimeter settlements: “The alternative to kite terrorism is war. If we react too strongly, it can lead to an escalation. You’re going to be stuck in your bomb shelters and you don’t want that – at least while the barrier against the tunnels has not yet been completed.”

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Which successfully describes the IDF retaliation attacks: according to the IDF Spokesperson, the attacks were carried out in two military compounds and in a Hamas weapons production site in the northern Gaza Strip.

According to Ma’an, the army shot two rockets at Hamas sites, including the Badr facility of the Qassam Brigades west of Gaza City, and at least five rockets were fired at the naval site of the ship west of the city. Ma’an reported that the heavy explosions rocked Gaza City at dawn.

“The attack was carried out in response to the firing of kites and balloons with explosive and incendiary devices on Israeli territory, which are acts of terror that endanger the residents of the south and damage large areas,” the IDF Spokesperson said.

After Israeli media reported Sunday night that the army has warned residents of the Gaza border settlements against escalation, those same residents on Monday protested the policy: “Soon they will ask us to wait in the mamad (reinforced room) until the summer is over because it’s too hot outside for an Israeli response,” one resident said angrily.

“The basic right of every citizen to security is apparently a flexible matter that depends on the seasons of the year,” said Ronen Livni, a farmer in the Gaza perimeter. “The lack of response only weakens the residents and brings us to despair.”

Using a phrase from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s political vocabulary, describing his adversaries as “pickles” (the term in Hebrew literally means “sour ones”), Livni said, “We are turning from pickles into charcoals.”

On the other hand, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said yesterday to local officials in the Gaza perimeter that the IDF is expecting to step up its operations against the kite launchers. “As we increase our responses, we will reach targeted assassinations of the launching squads,” the defense minister promised. Except that Liberman is often much bigger on promising than on delivering (ask Ismail Haniyeh).

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