Sderot, Israel Mission

“STRENGTHENING OUR PEOPLE AND STRENGTHENING OURSELVES”

You are Invited

to meet the Mayor of Sderot

Thursday, February 26, 2009

at 1:30 p.m.
Wildes and Weinberg

515 Madison Avenue (On 53rd b/w Park and Madison: 8th floor)

Mayor David Buskila will be coming to Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes' law offices
after meeting NYC Mayor Bloomberg.
This follows a recent visit Mayor Wildes took to visit Sderot just last week.

Englewood resident & mission coordinator Lee Lasher, Ahavath Torah's Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, Sderot Yeshiva Dean Rabbi David Mendel, Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes, and Heshy Feldman (in the backdrop are painted children's bomb shelters and Hesder Sderot Yeshiva in the landscape).

Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes and 17 other residents from Englewood returned from Sderot, Israel on Tuesday morning, 2/17/09 after visiting soldiers and families who fell victim to scores of Kassam missiles hurled into their homes. Mayor Wildes presented the Sderot Yeshiva Dean Rabbi David Mendel with a Proclamation (click here) issued on behalf of the City of Englewood.

 

Left Photo:Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes (left) and Ahavath Torah's Rabbi Shmuel Goldin (right) giving presents to the student s at the Amit School in Sderot.

Right Photo: Group inspects Qasam Missiles captured/ indexed at he police station. (left to right: Heshy Feldman; Mayor Michael Wildes; and Ed Markovich)

"What an extraordinary trip. From visiting new archeological digs to sitting with a Knesset Member; a Journalist- to parents who lost children at the hands of terrorists: we saw firsthand a country packed with heroes. We had a chance to walk through the streets of Sderot. To meet with proud Israeli soldiers; see missile casings; scarred city streets where missiles had fallen; feel the resiliency of a nation constantly at war; and taste the dissatisfaction with failed diplomacy and the international 'politics as usual'. We bought gifts for children in Sderot and we're in kind warmed by their smiles. I remain optimistic in the resiliency of its people; the ability of the country to deal with its short term solutions (as evidenced by its response to terrorism); its vibrant pulsating life committed to Judaism and cultural progress. A Nation addicted to crisis and action. What a wonderful journey this was for us. What pride I feel as a grandchild of holocaust survivors. We must remind ourselves of this privilege each time we pray at the Wall (Kotel) and take comfort in knowing that we can defend ourselves and our land at will." - Englewood Mayor Wildes

Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes at Western Wall

FACTS:

Qassam and Mortar Rocket Statistics

    Over 10,000 rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza since 2001.

      In the year of 2008, over 3, 200 Palestinian rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip , the largest number of

rockets fired at Israel (per year) since 2001.

      Since Israel 's disengagement from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, rocket fire dramatically increased with

over 6,500 rockets having been fired at Israel ( www.mfa.gov.il ).

 

Hamas-Israel Ceasefires

Israel has held two previous ceasefires with Hamas:

     November 11, 2006 -- May 15, 2007: Over 315 Palestinian rockets struck Israel during the six-month ceasefire.

     June 19 -- December 19, 2008: Over 538 Qassam and mortar rockets slammed into Israel during the six-month ceasefire. Most of the rocket fire took place during the months of November and December.

Operation Cast Lead (December 27, 2008--January 17, 2009)

     Over 796 Hamas rockets and mortars were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip during the three-week Operation Cast Lead. The war revealed that Hamas's rocket range now targets over 1 million southern Israelis living in major cities that include Ashkelon, Be'er Sheva, Ashdod, Gedera , and Kiryat Malachi.

    Since Israel 's defensive operation began in December 27, over 294 Israelis were injured in Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks and over 244 Israelis have been treated for shock.

    Palestinian rockets struck nine educational facilities including high schools, kindergartens, and elementary schools. Three synagogues in the western Negev were hit by rockets.

    84 Hamas rockets exploded in Sderot during the operation.

    140 Tzeva Adom siren alerts blared in Sderot within the three weeks of fighting.

Impact on Israeli Civilians

Causalities: Over 1,000 people in Israel have been wounded by Palestinian rockets and mortars fired from the Gaza Strip since 2001, including Israelis, Palestinians and foreign workers.

Psychological Impact: Approximately 3000 patient files have been opened in the Sderot Mental Health Center in light of continuous rocket fire. In the year 2007 alone, 1,117 trauma victim files were opened. Anxiety symptoms among children often include sleeping difficulties, nightmares, sweating, development regressions, wetting beds, and fear of the outside.

 

According to a 2008 NATAL study (Center for Victims of Terror and War), between 70% to 94% of Sderot children suffer from symptoms of PTSD while 28% of children are diagnosed with PTSD. About 30% of Sderot adults are also diagnosed with PTSD.

Economic Impact

According to Yakov Levy, a Sderot realtor, prices of homes have dropped down 50 percent. Housing prices were nearly double in 2000 before the Palestinian rocket fire began. Around 20-30 % of businesses in Sderot and surrounding areas have shut down since the rocket terror. Sales at stores in general have dropped by nearly 50 percent.

 

During the intense rocket fire of May 2007, 350 small businesses were forced to shut down. Since 2001, Gaza rocket fire has forced 11 Sderot factories to shut down.

 

During Operation Cast Lead, Hamas rocket fire caused millions of shekels in losses in the area of construction work across the Negev and the south. Numerous small businesses suffered in decreased sales and have been unable to pay employee salaries because of low revenues.

 

Home and Property Damage: Close to 1,900 cases have been filed to the Israeli government for damages done to homes and property by Hamas rocket attacks during the three weeks of war. Palestinian rockets directly hit more than 1,500 Israeli homes and buildings in the south, and caused heavy damage to 327 vehicles.

 

Israel 's Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

Since Operation Cast Lead, 1,365 truckloads of humanitarian aid have been delivered through Israeli crossings into Gaza including basic food commodities, medication, medical supplies, blood units and donations by various governments and blood units.

 

Over 33,580 tons of aid transported in Gaza at the request of international organizations, the PA and governments since Operation Cast lead. Over 440,000 gallons (1.7 liters) of fuel transferred through Israel 's Nahal Oz fuel terminal and Kerem Shalom goods crossings, both of which have been targeted by Palestinian mortar fire in the past. The World Food Program informed Israel that it would cease shipment of food to Gaza because warehouses were at full capacity.

 

The IDF made over 30,000 telephone calls to Gaza residents warning them of rocket strikes and distributed 980,000 leaflets instructing Gaza civilians to stay away from terrorists and weapons storage sites. Israel also evacuated 38 Palestinians for medical treatment including two children.

 

 

Paid for by Friends of Michael J. Wildes For Mayor, Assemblyman Arnold Brown, Treasurer

250 Allison Court, Englewood, NJ 07631