Southern Command Chief Gen. Eyal Zamir on Wednesday morning argued with the mayor of Sderot who objected to the evacuation of the civilian population near the Gaza border in a time of war, in light of revelations that Hamas has been digging terror tunnels that open into Israeli territory.
Zamir spoke at a conference dealing with the threat of the Hamas terror tunnels at the Cinematic in Sderot, a Jewish town located about half a mile from the Gaza border. The conference, organized by South Radio 101.5, was an opportunity for the town residents to have a direct and honest encounter with public officials over the frightening prospects of armed Hamas fighters emerging from tunnels inside Israeli residential neighborhoods.
Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi objected to the IDF plan to evacuate all the civilians who reside next to the Gaza border during an emergency. “We will not evacuate Sderot in a time of war, it shouldn’t be done, and we mustn’t even talk about it,” said the mayor.
Zamir, who spoke after the mayor, told the assembled residents, “I’ve heard the mayor and I’m glad to hear what he said [about the evacuation], I think it’s a very important statement. It is one option we will weigh as part of our toolbox, according to the assessments at the time.”
The terror tunnel that was exposed in Israeli territory this week, leading about 90 feet beyond the border with Gaza, does not open up inside a community, probably because its diggers expected less monitoring in an open area.
Other participants in the Sderot conference included Zionist Camp Chairman Itzhak Herzog, Israel Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman, Yesh Atid Chairman MK Yair Lapid, and Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On. The only two representatives of the coalition who were scheduled to appear cancelled at the last-minute: Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, and the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Chairman MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud).JNi.Media