Israelis Near Gaza See Slim— or No—Victory

Residents still fear rockets, think war should have continued
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2009 8:18 AM CST

(Newser) – When Israel began its raid of the Gaza Strip three weeks ago, the government said its goal was to end rocket attacks and sniper fire into the country's south. Polls show that most Israelis supported the war, despite the staggering civilian casualties. But in interviews with farmers and other residents near the Gaza border, the New York Times finds that many Israelis are worried that any ceasefire will be short-lived.

"So they changed the security situation for the next six months, bravo," said one unimpressed potato farmer. Many Israelis had hoped to see a clearer military victory, with Hamas offering to surrender or with the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit freed. Most wanted Hamas to be wiped out completely—and remain apprehensive about its future actions. "I do not feel any victory," said one man. "I still do not feel safe."