The past few days have been terrifying ones for those living in such cities as Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod ever since the violent incursion of terrorists from Gaza, who took advantage of the unfenced border between Egypt and Israel to carry out their bloody attack on buses and cars on the road to Eilat last Thursday.
Men, women and children have been killed and seriously injured in over 100 rocket and mortar attacks launched against Israel. Once again innocent people have been running for their bomb shelters.
Unfortunately, these events have doused the civil protests calling for social justice, which brought some 300,000 Israelis to the streets of Tel Aviv just two weeks ago. Whereas there was talk at the time of cutting the defence budget in order to channel more funds to meet Israel’s social and educational needs, it will now be difficult to call for such action.
For the first time, Israeli forces made operational use of the new “Iron Dome” anti-missile defence system developed by Rafael and they were successful in intercepting most of the rockets that would have hit towns in the south of Israel. However, the system is still experimental and did not achieve 100% success. Nevertheless, this is an important addition to Israel’s defences, although there are as yet only two batteries operational.
One of the remarkable features of Israel as a nation is that, although our civilian population has once again had to face terrorist and rocket attacks emanating from Gaza, the border has nevertheless been kept open and sick Palestinians are still being let into Israel to receive treatment in our hospitals.