By Anav Silverman This week Kibbutz Kfar Aza mourned the death of Jimmy Kedoshim, a husband and father of three, who was killed last year in a Palestinian mortar attack on May 9, 2008. The mortar, fired from northern Gaza, struck Kedoshim, 48, in the backyard of his home. Kedoshim’s death was the first caused by mortar fire since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. A day after Kedoshim’s memorial service, the Kfar Aza community was reminded once again that Palestinian rockets still threaten the region. On Sunday, May 10, 2009 a Palestinian Qassam rocket slammed across Kibbutz Kfar Aza, this time landing in an open area in the Regional Council of Sdot Negev and Sha’ar HaNegev. No injuries or damages were reported. Kedoshim was a well known and beloved figure in the Kfar Aza community. “The death of Jimmy Kedoshim was devastating for the entire Kfar Aza community,” Karen, a Kfar Aza mother told Sderot Media Center last year. Jimmy, a professional sky diver, raised his three children on the Kfar Aza kibbutz with his wife Anna. *YNET News contributed to this report.The media cries that these are homemade rockets, they do little damage and cause very few injuries and deaths. I have a proposition for the members of the media then. Someone will go over to your house with a gun and fire randomly into your home. They will do this for the next 8 years. The media will not cover the event, the police will not stop it. No bullet fired will be aimed. What will YOU do? After all they are just bullets of a small caliber, they do little damage and cause minimum injuries. You see how your argument is faulty?
by Anav Silverman Back in March, Sderot Media Center director, Noam Bedein held a special briefing with US Congressmen and their advisors on Capitol Hill, where he highlighted the rocket situation in Sderot and southern Israel in a meeting initiated by the EMET organization President, Sarah Stern. A day previously, on Monday March 2, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had pledged $900 million at a conference in Egypt set to raise billions of dollars for Gaza reconstruction after Operation Cast Lead. Following the meeting between Bedein and the Congressmen on Capitol Hill, Democratic Representative Shelley Berkley (D-Nev) sent a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which demanded that the aid to Gaza be delayed as long as the rocket fire continues and Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian terrorists three years ago, remains captive by Hamas. Joining Berkley in her efforts to place conditions on the $300 million in US aid for Gaza, is Representative Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.). Three weeks ago, Reps. Elliot and Berkley drafted a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Appropriations Committe; Congressmen David Obey and Jerry Lewis respectively. Reps. Eliot and Berkley stated that "we are concerned that - in the aftermath of Hamas’ unprovoked attacks on Israel - sending hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza without conditions will send precisely the wrong message at the wrong time" In addition, the Congressmen also added that “ it is essential that we not simply write a “blank check” for the Gaza-based Palestinians to continue" its missile attacks on Israel. “We must instead send a message that the United States will help with the needs of the Palestinians if--and only if--they meet the conditions of the international community to recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and commit to all agreements that they have signed with Israel. Not only has Hamas failed to meet any of these conditions, it has not stopped raining rockets on Israeli territory and still holds captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It is essential that we condition our funding for Gaza on Hamas’ complying with these basic demands. Read the full letter below.The United States has pledged $1.1 billion to Gaza. This is effectively giving $1.1 billion to Hamas. For the only funds that are going to Gaza are going to Hamas. Do you believe for one moment that any of the allocated funding will go to rebuild homes, schools, etc...? If you do I got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. It is an antique, but in very good condition (real cheap too). This has got to end. There should be no funds sent until:April 28, 2009 The Honorable David R. Obey, Chairman The Honorable Jerry Lewis, Ranking Member Committee on Appropriations H-218, The Capitol Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Chairman Obey and Ranking Member Lewis: We write to you today regarding the President’s request for supplemental funding in fiscal year 2009. It has come to our attention that within President Obama’s request is $900 million in funding for the West Bank and Gaza. We are concerned that - in the aftermath of Hamas’ unprovoked attacks on Israel - sending hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza without conditions will send precisely the wrong message at the wrong time. In late 2008, Hamas intensified its missile attacks on Israel, using Gaza as a launching pad to terrorize the population of Sderot and other communities in southern Israel. Even after Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005, the unprovoked assault by unguided rockets of terror continued. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) finally retaliated against these attacks, after showing incredible restraint for many years, destroying a great deal of Hamas’ infrastructure within Gaza. While the IDF attempted to minimize civilian casualties, there was damage to many areas in Gaza. The blame for this, however, rests firmly on Hamas’ shoulders, as they began the unprovoked shelling on Israeli cities and were warned repeatedly that the continued shelling would bring a strong response from Israel. Further, Hamas conducted its combat operations from heavily-populated civilian areas and, thus, was responsible for the protection of the civilians in the area. Indeed, this use of unarmed men, women, and children as human shields was shocking and disgraceful. It is, therefore, essential that we not simply write a “blank check” for the Gaza-based Palestinians to continue acting this way. We must instead send a message that the United States will help with the needs of the Palestinians if - and only if - they meet the conditions of the international community to recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and commit to all agreements they have signed with Israel. Not only has Hamas failed to meet any of these conditions, it has not stopped raining rockets on Israeli territory and still holds captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It is essential that we condition our funding for Gaza on Hamas’ complying with these basic demands. Without such links, Palestinians will see the U.S. as providing aid while Hamas continues to terrorize the Israeli people, with no consequences from the U.S. government. We urge you to condition our funding on reciprocal actions from Hamas. Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to your response. Sincerely, Shelley Berkley Member of Congress Eliot Engel Member of Congress*The JTA News Service contributed to this report.
- Hamas recongizes Israel not only has a right to exist but is a Jewish nation.
- The return of Gilad Schalit safe and unharmed.
- The immediate ceasation of all attacks on Israel.