Israeli children launch balloons with peace messages for children of Gaza
SDEROT, Israel (WJC)–Residents of southern Israel and the town of Sderot have held a March of Freedom to mark the first anniversary of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. Organizers of the rally expressed hope that the new decade would be one of “hope, security and peace”.
Students attending the annual congress of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) in Jerusalem also descended to Sderot to express their solidarity with the local population, which over recent years was the target of missile attacks by terrorists in the Gaza Strip. A number of international officials also attended, including Zambian presidential candidate Sbior C. Ishimba.
Public Information Minister Yuli Edelstein noted that Operation Cast Lead had been launched to remove the threat of rocket attacks fired at southern Israeli communities. “We have had a year of relative quiet following the operation,” he noted, “with only 286 missiles fired at areas within the State of Israel.” The military operation, Edelstein said, had been intended to “give hope a chance for peace in our region and the rest of the world. Unfortunately, while we are calling for peace, at the Erez Crossing there is a protest going on against Israel, rejecting our very existence.”
White balloons with attached messages of hope, written by local 4th- and 5th-graders, were released for the children of Gaza. Sderot Mayor David Buskila told the marchers: “We stand here today on both sides of the border, with a message of peace between us. We have released balloons with messages from the children of Sderot who experienced the Qassam rockets, and we want to say to Hamas leaders, who to our dismay continue to rearm, that we come in peace. We are too strong to leave this land, and justice is with us.”
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress
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