Hundreds of civilians demonstrated in Rabin Square on Saturday night and then marched north on Ibn Gvirol Street, protesting the lack of security in the south and the reports of Israel’s negotiations with Hamas. The protest was held for the second week in a row with the slogans: “The south is burning; We are the Qassam generation; We are not cannon fodder; Government to wake up – do not abandon our children; We are not human shields; A child in the Gaza envelope is entitled to the same security as in Gush Dan; Existential anxiety is not a way of life; Whole families see black; and We’ve had enough of burning fields, we’ve had enough of crying children.”
The protesters sounded a siren and related their harsh experiences: “To choose with which child to run to the shelter in 15 seconds is not a way of life,” they said. Then they flew balloons bloomed as a symbol of hope.
The demonstration was organized by the social movement Qassam Generation which was established during the 2014 Gaza war. The rally was piggybacked—against the expressed wishes of the organizers—by leftist groups which carried a large, directly anti-Netanyahu sign that read: “Crime Minister.”
An Israeli official reassured Channel 2 News that “no agreement has been signed with Hamas.”
One of the protest organizers, Alona Brown from Kfar Aza, told Meet the Press Saturday night, “There is an intention to provide – but there is no security. Yesterday, six kites or balloons set fire to the fields in our area.”
“We demand constant security, and as long as it is not guaranteed to us, we will continue with the protests – we will stop being helpless,” Brown vowed.
Brown made it clear that she did not intend to leave her home despite the security deterioration: “This is my home, the Negev is an amazing area,” she said.