Each day Palestinians fire more qassam rockets into the Negev. More people hurt houses damaged. Yet the reports published in the traditional press are quick mentions of some unnamed faceless man or woman hurt in an attack. Yet each time a Palestinian gets hurt in an Israeli counterstrike not only is the persons injuries flashed on the newswires, it seems that the persons life story appears in the news faster than the speed of light. Its one of the subtle ways the press provides biased coverage; Israeli victims are faceless, dehumanized. Palestinian victims are given that face. No where will you find a report that contrast the Israeli victims who are living far away from any military installations vs. the Palestinian victims who are being set up as Human Shields by their terrorist neighbors.
This story from Y-Net put a face on some of the Qassam victims and what they go through every day.
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No less than seven Qassam rockets have landed in Ashkelon and the vicinity over the past few weeks, prompting a group of residents to set up the ‘Forum for Ashkelon’s Security,’ which is aimed at increasing security-related awareness in the western Negev city.
Director Itamar Shimoni said the movement was set up by volunteers in a bid to better prepare the residents for future rocket attacks.
Qassam attack in Ashkelon (Archive photo: Amir Cohen)
The Qassam fire directed at the city has increased significantly during the past year, and many residents feel the local municipality is simply not doing enough. In the coming days the forum is expected to distribute some 50,000 leaflets with instructions on how to act during a Qassam attack.
“We have discovered, to our deep regret, that Ashkelon residents do not know what to do when rockets fall on the city,” Shimoni said. “And worst of all, the educational institutions are not prepared either; some kindergartens don’t contain secure rooms, and the schools do not have an adequate amount of secure areas.
“The residents here live in fear, and that is why we decided to establish a forum that will instruct them on how to act during an emergency,” he said.
The forum members plan to expand their activity and host meetings with security establishment officials, during which residents will be given tips on how to shield their homes and instill a sense of calm among children.
Shimoni added: “It is important for us to make it clear that we are not here to replace the Home Front Command, but only to explain to the residents how they should act during attacks.
Fellow forum member Yigal Gueta told Ynet, “We are sick and tired of living under the constant Qassam rocket threat. What concerns us most is that we are not prepared and do not know how to act during these attacks. This is why we decided to take the security issue into our own hands.”