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Nearly a third of residents in southern Israel consider move

DPA
Jerusalem
Nearly a third of residents in southern Israel, often in the firing line of rockets from the Gaza Strip, are considering moving due to security concerns, a poll said on Tuesday.
The poll conducted by the Knesset Research and Information Centre found 28 per cent of people in the south have thought about leaving.
Half of all residents of southern Israel say they don’t feel safe, mainly due to fears over rockets. However, the main reason Arab residents say they stay, even though they may not feel secure, is family considerations, while Jewish residents cite economic matters.
The Centre additionally found that 33 per cent of residents do not have a bomb shelter near their home and 42 per cent lack one at home.
The poll surveyed 1,400 people living in both northern and southern Israel.
While no Israelis were killed or seriously injured in last month’s flare-up between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, residents do suffer stress symptoms related to the rocket attacks.
Militants from Islamic Jihad had fired over 360 rockets into Israel; in response Israel conducted airstrikes killing over 35 Palestinians, mostly militant fighters, according to Palestinian authorities.
The Gaza Strip has been under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt for more than a decade. Human rights groups have criticized the blockade for restricting the movement of Gaza’s 2 million residents.