TEL AVIV, Israel—Rockets began falling on the southern Israeli town of Sederot again recently, soon after the expiration of a six-month cease-fire with the Islamic extremist organization Hamas, which is ruling the Gaza Strip.
Israel reached an informal truce with the Islamic organization six months ago, in hopes of giving the beseiged town a period of respite. However, experts say that this has helped Hamas to significantly strengthen itself, get armed, and regroup its powerbase.
Hamas had promised to stop firing at Israeli civilian targets and to ensure that other groups would not fire either, while Israel promised to cease military operations in the Gaza Strip and to enable safe passage of goods between Gaza and Israel.
During the six months missiles were still fired at Israeli civilian targets, sent from terrorist organizations. The number was significantly less than before, however. Israel responded with military operations against the missile launching squads, and closed passages between Gaza and Israel. Friday Dec. 19 was the end of the six month cease fire, and intensive firing started again.
"The terrorists have turned Sederot to a death field", said Dr. Anna Geifman of Boston University in a telephone interview with The Epoch Times, who researches and writes about the psychology of terror. "A whole community is under constant attack. This is a very unique situation."
She argues that almost all the citizens of Sederot have been affected over seven years of being fired upon, and says that most of them now suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. She says that everyone in the city is captive: "Basically everyone here is wounded—not physically, but mentally."