Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit Party will boycott Wednesday’s scheduled Knesset votes in protest of the government’s “weak response” to an onslaught of rockets from the Gaza Strip.
The nationalist party announced that it would instead convene a special faction meeting in the hard-hit southern city of Sderot, located near the Gaza border.
The boycott leaves the coalition with 58 votes in parliament, still more than the opposition’s 56 mandates.
Three foreign workers employed on a construction site in Sderot were wounded by a rocket on Tuesday afternoon.
Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza reached a ceasefire agreement early on Wednesday, following a major conflagration in which terrorists fired more than 100 rockets towards the Jewish state.
The violence erupted on early Tuesday morning when senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Khader Adnan died in an Israeli prison after an 87-day hunger strike.
Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi, a frequent critic of successive governments’ policies towards the “Gaza envelope” communities under frequent rocket and mortar fire from Gaza-based terrorists, voiced frustration at the situation.
“Enough with the lip service. There are terror groups ruling Gaza. They shoot when they want. We need to wipe them out,” Davidi told Channel 13 from the construction site where the three men were wounded.
“If we don’t take care of this now and put it at the top of the agenda, before any other thing the government wants to do—bringing down prices or whatever … the safety of residents of the South and of Sderot must come before everything else,” he emphasized.
Davidi told Radio 103FM that “the government has adopted a policy of granting immunity to terrorists and burying its head in the sand. I told the prime minister two weeks ago that I miss [2014’s] Operation Protective Edge, [after] which we had two and a half years of quiet. We are paralyzed—this is a weak policy.”
Amid the latest rocket fire, the IDF struck terrorist assets in Gaza, including military compounds, weapons manufacturing sites and depots, a subterranean attack tunnel and training grounds.
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