Portland Ashkelon Sister City Association

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Ashkelon, Portland's Sister City Hit Again - Media Blaming the Wrong Party: Israel

Whatever is happening, the press manages to word it so that Israel gets the blame. The headline in the Oregonian today said: Retaliatory airstrikes threaten to undo Gaza truce. Of course, Israel is the one with the planes, so we get blamed. They seem to forget little things in their choice of a headline like what was happening to cause the strike. It seems to me that the peace is broken everytime that a rocket has been fired from Gaza into S. Israel, but the world never comes out with ....undoing the peace. It's only mentioned if Israel retaliates or attempts to stop the aggression.

On Wednesday morning in Israel, Hamas terrorists in Gaza fired 35 Qassam rockets at Israeli civilians in southern Israel. Two rockets hit Ashkelon, which is 9 miles from Gaza. Two women and a 13 year old girl were treated for shock. Since the June 19th ceasefire, Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza have fired more than 50 rockets and mortars at Israel. Rockets and mortar have killed 24 Israelis and wounded more than 1,00 since 2001 when Palestinian terrorists started firing rockets at Israel. These attacks have also caused thousands of Israelis to suffer from PTSD, Post-traumatic stress disorder, just like our U.S. soldiers have in wars in Vietnam and in other wars.
The terrorists had been busy digging tunnels to aid them in kidnapping Israeli soldiers. Israel discovered them when they found the digging just 820 feet from the Israel-Gaza border. They had to be destroyed, and an air attack was the only method. It was a limited operation.. This tunnel was a "blatant violation of the calm or cease fire." They had found it was ready for use, and they had to act immediately.

The Hamas terrorists are backed by Iran. They provide $20 million to $30 million dollars annually in weapons and training. It's no wonder than Israel has needed loans from the USA. Not only these outright gifts from Iran provide weapons, but weapons are smuggled to them from Egypt. Since September 2008, 200 tunnels were in operation along the 8 mile Egypt-Gaza border. Through these tunnels they smuggle weapons, money, people, drugs and other things into Gaza. They even smuggle weapons from the sea with small ships that drop containers of weapons a few miles from the coast. They have fired more than 2,700 rockets and mortar shells at Israeli civilians in 2008. Since Israel withdrew from Gaza in August of 2005, 5,800 rockets have been fired at Israel. No one seems to be upset by their constant barrage on Israel except the Israelis. No one complains about the Palestinians breaking any peace.

* Reference The Oregonian Newspaper: November 6, 2008, page A10, "Rataliatory airstrikes threaten to undo Gaza truce"

* The Israel Project: "Iran-backed Terrorists Fire 35 Rockets at Southern Israel"

Posted by Nadene Goldfoot

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Ashkelon Under Fire - By Marty Davis on January 07, 2009

As the sirens go off and we wait in our shelter to hear the boom of the missiles, we wonder when this will end. For the past eight years there has been constant bombardment of Sderot and the surrounding settlements. This is not about political issues; it is about civilians under extended fire.

In Ashkelon, 122,000 residents have been under fire with little protection. Most homes do not have shelters as they were built in the 1950s and 1960s. The neighborhood shelters are underground and impossible to reach in 30 seconds. Today alone, we have suffered 14 rocket attacks with accompanying physical, psychological and personal damage. The resolve of our people to stand strong against this onslaught is a direct desire to end a situation where we have to live in fear. Our children are climbing the walls as they cannot leave their homes. There is no school, and no shopping centers are open. These children are terrorized to the point where even at the ages of six and seven they are wetting their beds. They demand that the light stay on all night, and even then tell of their nightmares the next morning - all this on a daily basis. Our children will need psychological help to overcome their fears of loud noises and sirens.

"I'm not running anymore." Our elderly are unable to reach their shelters, even if they have one. They suffer from the ongoing missiles and cannot leave their homes to buy food, get their medicine, or see their doctors. A good friend, who survived five death camps during the holocaust, TB resulting in the loss of a lung, a quadruple bypass, and cancer, sits in his chair and waits for the sirens. He is not moving as it is too difficult. His answer is: "I'm not running anymore". The Municipality and the Home Front are doing a great job as far as immediate response to every emergency; however, we are ill prepared in terms of safe rooms and public buildings with secure rooms.

A number of years ago I was involved in building programs and projects on Israel's northern border (known as the confrontation line). I would watch katyusha rockets hitting the road in front and behind my car. I was fulfilling a Zionist ideological imperative by assisting those in need. Who would have thought that today I would be living in the "new" confrontation line in the south? The real desire is that this current war comes to an end that provides a strong beginning.

We pray for a true peace that can allow us to reach our potential as a people that are involved in developing new medicines, new science and technology. A country that can assist our neighbors in developing their potential as true partners. Can this dream ever become a reality? Herzl said: "If you will it, it need not be a dream". I think we can sum it up in one word, "tikva" - hope.

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Source: Tamar Boussi (President, Portland-Ashkelon Sister City Assoction) in Israel.

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