Wednesday, March 19, 2008
"19/03/2008 One issue Sderot's mayor doesn’t like to talk about is the number of Israeli settlers who have left the rocket-battered southern settlement that the Palestinian resistance groups launch in response to the Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip. Only talking about it, Eli Moyal believes, causes many people to leave.
Sderot mayor is forced to admit that 10% to 15% of the city's settlers – about 3,000 people – no longer live in Sderot, according to his estimates. Aid organizations present higher figures – up to 25% of the population.
In one of the recent waves of escalation, Moyal told visiting Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak that every such wave caused dozens of additional settlers to run off away from the Qassam range.
The almost accurate rocket fire and the heavy damage caused by the Qassams have managed to crack a part of this settlement’s public strength. The economic distress has only worsened the problem. "We must admit that those who can afford it financially have left the city. Most of the population left behind is the weaker population," says Sasson Sara, chairman of the local parents' committee, who owns a grocery store in the city. "