Demanding Southern Security, Protestors Halt Gaza-Bound Trucks

YERUSHALAYIM -
Residents of southern Israel lay on the ground as they re-enact a Code Red alarm during a protest calling for better security, at the entrance to Tel Aviv, on Sunday. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Dozens of protestors blocked the main roads leading to the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza on Monday morning, holding up trucks that were on their way to drop freight at the crossing, to be sent into Gaza.

The protest was organized against the ongoing violence residents of the Gaza border area have been subjected to by terrorists, including rioting, balloon terror attacks, and acrid smoke from the massive burning of tires. The road was closed for several hours before police removed the protestors.

Despite the ongoing terror, the Defense Ministry last week authorized the reopening of the crossing to full capacity. According to Ministry figures, some 2000 trucks drop off loads at the Crossing every day. There are so many trucks, the Transportation Ministry announced last week, that it will be banning truck traffic on the roads leading to the Crossing during morning and afternoon hours – to enable school buses to drop off or pick up students at area schools, as the traffic jams during those hours have come to rival those in Tel Aviv during rush hour, the Transportation Ministry said.

Gaza border residents also protested in Tel Aviv Sunday night, demanding government action to end the terror. Protesters held up signs saying they “want a response” to the terror, and one organizer of the event, speaking to Hadashot News, said that “we chose to come to central Tel Aviv to remind people that while they sit in the cafés and sip cappuccinos, we are on the front line.”

After a weekend in which the south was targeted with some 40 rockets fired by Gaza terrorists Friday night, a ceasefire was announced Saturday night, but for the ceasefire to continue, Hamas Gaza head Yahya Sinwar said Saturday, Israel had to ensure that Hamas was paid $15 million a month, to be supplied by Qatar. Israel is required to allow this money to enter Gaza. If it does not, Hamas will again ramp up rioting and rocket attacks, Sinwar said.

Speaking at the Cabinet meeting Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Israel rejected the demand. “We are now after a weekend in which the IDF struck at terrorists in Gaza. It has been reported that there is a Hamas ultimatum against Israel. At no stage will Israel accept such ultimatums, and we will continue to act in our own interests, promoting the security of Israel,” said Netanyahu.