Saturday, November 15, 2008
Sderot resident appeals to Obama
Pinchas Amar asks President-Elect to keep his promise from July to protect town residents from rocket fire. In Ashkelon, school canceled and police ask residents not to hold a protest because of safety concerns
A few months ago, US President-Elect Barack Obama stood in the Sderot home of Pinchas Amar and promised an end to rocket fire. Friday, after one of the Qassams among the repeated rocket barrages landed near his home, the resident of the beleaguered Negev town sent out an appeal to the new American leader. "Obama promised me, in my home, in front of the media, that he wouldn't allow the rocket fire to continue. My message to him is: Keep your promise," said Amar, who, along with his wife, was injured in earlier rocket fire.
"I was barely able to reach the secure room," said Amar, who was recently restricted to a wheelchair after falling off a ladder. "I heard a scary blast… I hope Shabbat will be quiet."
Residents of a nearby kibbutz, also the victim of a rocket attack, expressed similar sentiments. "It was really scary… and the worst part is that they've only recently started building secure rooms here, meaning that not all of the rooms are completed or accessible," they said.
Meanwhile, slightly to the north, the Ashkelon school board announced that school would be canceled on Sunday. Eli Shato, the head of the school board said, "We told parents that we're not waiting and are canceling school. There's not a single fortified structure and I'm not willing to endanger the children."
Also in Ashkelon, local resident Ran Yedai had attempted unsuccessfully to form a security staff during the ceasefire. Friday, he said, he had received several phone calls from other concerned citizens interested in taking part in such efforts, pursuant to the rocket attacks.
Another city resident, Ronen Alush, wanted to stage a protest against government inaction on the issue of the rocket attacks on the Negev but was asked by police to refrain from doing this, so as not to endanger residents.