Gaza war forces thousands of Israelis along the border to flee their homes

As the cross-border war goes on raging with Palestinian death toll topping 2100, it turns out that it`s not just the Gazans who are on the receiving end of the violence, but Israeli residents too, are bearing the brunt.

Last Updated: Aug 26, 2014, 10:12 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Jerusalem: As the cross-border war goes on raging with Palestinian death toll topping 2100, it turns out that it`s not just the Gazans who are on the receiving end of the violence, but Israeli residents too, are bearing the brunt.

According to reports, thousands of Israelis living ear Gaza border had to leave their homes to avoid being hit by Hamas rockets, in what is the first large-scale voluntary evacuation in nearly eight weeks of cross-border firing.

The Israeli government too was said to be helping the residents evacuate from the vulnerable areas as war goes on without any solution in sight.

Even as Palestinian death toll, which is said to be more than 2100, seems too high compared to 68 Israeli deaths in the war, the Israeli Army has been repeating that millions of Israelis remain in the constant fear of Hamas rockets as they fire from mosques, buildings, schools, etc.

Officials estimate that 70 per cent of the 40,000 inhabitants of the farming communities along the Gaza border have left, including hundreds today.

Fields that once yielded vegetables and flowers are barren and pockmarked by Palestinian mortar shells. Streets are empty and most homes eerily silent.

The fighting has killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, according to Gaza officials, leveled thousands of buildings and left tens of thousands of people homeless.

The death toll on the Israeli side has been much lower, largely because of Israel`s network of air raid sirens, bomb shelters and the Iron Dome missile-defense system.

Yet Israel`s defenses have been largely ineffective against short-range mortar fire, a deficiency underscored when a 4-year-old boy was killed on Friday by a Palestinian mortar shell.

With Agency Inputs