Hundreds Protest Gaza Cease-fire in Southern Israel, Burn Tires

'We've been abandoned for 18 years': Demonstrators block roads and confront police in Sderot, one of the main targets of Gaza rockets for well over a decade

Israeli children participating in a protest against Israel's decision to accept a cease-fire with Hamas on November 13, 2018.
\ AMIR COHEN/ REUTERS

Some 350 Israelis flocked to the southern Israeli city of Sderot on Tuesday night to protest a reported cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip after three days of hostilities. 

Several demonstrators blocked the road at the entrance to the city and burned tires; policemen who were at the scene confronted some of them.

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Some protesters raised signs with slogans that read "We are not second-class citizens."

Residents of southern Israel protest in Sderot against the cease-fire reached between Israel and the Palestinian factions on November 13, 2018.
\ AMIR COHEN/ REUTERS
Israelis protesting the government's decision to hold fire in Gaza on November 13, 2018.
\ AMIR COHEN/ REUTERS

Residents of communities on the Israel-Gaza border plan to block roads leading to the commercial Kerem Shalom crossing on Wednesday.

Eliran Gerbi, a resident of Sderot and a father of four who attended the protest, said that "Sderot is not willing to accept [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [Defense Minister Avigdor] Lieberman's cease-fire and we won't sit in silence."

Gerbi continued: "They announced a cease-fire? They'll get fire from home. Bibi has failed in securing Sderot, he's failed. We're being abandoned for 18 years already and we thought this time would be the end, but here they are, already waiting for the next round."

Gerbi added that the most recent escalation between Israel and the Palestinians has traumatized his children, causing them emotional and mental regression. "My kids are wetting the bed, they're going back ten years in time," he said. "I have a kid who hardly talks."

A man protesting in Sderot against the recently-announced cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian factions in Gaza on November 13, 2018.
\ AMIR COHEN/ REUTERS

Another protester, Adi Yifrach, told Haaretz that she came to protest "the oversight, the disgrace, the silencing."

"The cease-fire agreement that has just been signed is very, very sad. We're very angry at the government. We expected them to do something to stop terror. But a cease-fire, especially one announced by Hamas, is not what we expected,"  she said. 

The Israel Police issued a statement in response saying: "The Israel Police will enable the freedom of speech and the freedom of protest as it legally should. But it will not allow and will act in an way possible against disorderly conduct, violence against policemen or civilians and the blocking of main traffic arteries."