Skip to main content

Enraged over injured boy, Israelis protest rocket attacks

  • Story Highlights
  • Protesters hold mock rocket attack drills, lying on ground, covering head, screaming
  • Demonstrations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem come after 8-year-old loses leg in attack
  • Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired more than 40 Qassam rockets into Israel
  • Israel PM says Israeli forces are doing all they can to stop militants
  • Next Article in World »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- After an 8-year-old boy lost his leg in a rocket attack over the weekend, angry residents of Sderot in southern Israel protested in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem Monday, demanding the government do more to prevent such attacks on their town.


Israeli police officers detain a protester Monday during a demonstration in Jerusalem.

It was the second day of the group's dramatic demonstrations. At a major crossing Sunday in Jerusalem, Sderot residents of all ages carried out mock drills -- screaming, lying down on the ground, and covering their heads as they sounded the rocket warning that signals the terrorism inflicting their daily lives.

They brought with them the remnants of one of the thousands of rockets that have rained down on their town.

On Monday, they staged demonstrations in a busy section of Tel Aviv and protested outside the defense ministry before setting up a large tent in Jerusalem outside the high court, just up the street from the prime minister's office. The protesters said they will maintain a presence at the tent until Sderot is at peace. Video Watch protesters scream and cover their heads as they imitate a life with rocket attacks »

Over the weekend, Palestinian militants in Gaza fired more than 40 Qassam rockets into southern Israel.

Such attacks from Gaza have been almost a daily occurrence since Israel pulled out in 2005. Israeli forces have fought back, trying economic sanctions against Gaza, targeted airstrikes and small ground operations, but the rockets have kept coming.

Any military salvo risks endangering Palestinian civilians and incurring the anger of some world leaders.

There is resistance in the government and the military to any major operation in Gaza, because it is taken for granted there would be casualties on both sides -- and there would still be no guarantee the rocket attacks would end.

"There is no doubt that the pain is felt by all; the outrage is natural," Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting. "But it must be clear that outrage is not a plan for action. We must act in a systematic and orderly fashion over time. This is what we are doing. This is what we will continue to do."

He said the "aggressive, vigorous and comprehensive" action of Israeli troops continues to yield results, with 200 militants killed and hundreds wounded in recent months.

Israeli officials have vowed new steps to prevent the attacks, though they have not been specific.

Senior Hamas leaders in Gaza, including Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, have gone into hiding.

"From my point of view, anyone who is responsible [for] terror -- sheltering it, guiding it, giving them support, which Haniya is doing -- in my opinion he is a legitimate target to be hit," said Israeli Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit.

While Gaza is under the control of Hamas, Palestinian leadership in the West Bank is with Fatah, and Israel remains an occupying force in that area.

Sderot's mayor said the time for limited operations is over.

"It's got to be a direct war -- killing Mr. Haniya, killing his deputy, killing all his staff, his house, his government house," said Eli Moyal.

A rocket over the weekend landed just feet away from Osher and Rami Tuito. Eight-year-old Osher had his leg amputated below the knee. Rami, 19, suffered moderate wounds.


In retaliation, Israeli troops carried out four aerial attacks against Hamas targets in Gaza Saturday night.

The first attack killed a Hamas militant in the town of Rafah, an Israeli military spokeswoman said. The militant was involved in weapons smuggling, she said. The other strikes targeted a training camp in Khan Younis, a weapons cache in Rafah and a weapons warehouse in Gaza City, the spokeswoman said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Ben Wedeman and Michal Zippori contributed to this report.

All About Ehud OlmertIsraelGaza City

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print