Gaza settlers demand a visit from premier

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

Gush Katif residents held an emergency meeting Tuesday night to decide on protest actions. Arye Mizrahi, of Kfar Yam, warned that the Palestinians have yet to use their most destructive weapons, adding that according to information Jewish residents have received, the Palestinians not only have long-range mortars, but anti-tank missiles and long-range Katyusha rockets.

Settlers, Mizrahi said, will embark on a wave of demonstrations next week if Sharon does not instruct the army to take the initiative.

"In November, we warned senior IDF officers of the mortar attacks. At the time, we were told not to worry, the army would protect us. Now Sharon says he has a clear-cut plan, but how patient does he expect us to be?

"In recent days, there have been a large number of mortar shellings. It's a miracle that there have been hardly any casualties. Is the government waiting for another baby to be seriously wounded or killed?" he said.

Yoram Ohev-Zion, secretary and security head of Moshav Katif, which came under mortar fire Tuesday, said residents would like to see Sharon visit the communities and meet with the residents.

"It's not enough to talk about us, they should visit here physically and prove that the residents here are no different to those living in other parts of Israel," he said.

Benny Cohen, who coordinates municipal affairs for the Nissanit, Alei Sinai and Dugit settlements, said people are disappointed over the failure of government officials to visit them. "It sounds terrible to say, but whenever there are terror attacks in Tel Aviv, everyone races to the site and speaks with reporters. The prime minister must do everything to prevent the public from feeling tit is unprotected," he said.