Many of northern Israel's residents couldn’t bring themselves to celebrate this year’s Independence Day on Tuesday. Instead, they took to the streets to express their frustrations with the government after suffering over seven months of Hezbollah attacks.

Twenty-four Israelis have been murdered so far – six of them during the last month – including a citizen who was killed by Hezbollah fire on Independence Day in Kibbutz Adamit.

“It is hard to understand how the state wants to restore the trust of the residents. No one is telling us to return home and no one is making efforts for us to return home,” Naomi Bakor, community coordinator at Kibbutz Adamit, said Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of residents from towns and communities near the border, including Adamit, remain evacuated from their homes, even after seven months of fighting.

“I would like them to come immediately and talk to us, not just the head of our council, and see how we are strengthening the settlements. The state made many promises. Bibi [Netanyahu] was with the heads of the authorities months ago – what happened with that?” Bakor said.

On Tuesday, hundreds – including local mayors and heads of regional councils – marked Independence Day by protesting and blocking off major junctions in northern Israel.

“Northern residents have been displaced from their homes for seven months, and they have no idea when they’re going home,” said Moshe Davidovich, head of Mateh Asher Regional Council. Davidovich is also the chairman of the “Frontline Forum,” a group of local leaders demanding the government to bring about either a diplomatic or military resolution allowing residents to return to their homes.

“For seven months, business owners have been collapsing… people don’t know what to do with themselves because they’re so full of despair and frustration,” he told Walla News. “We demand that the government immediately compensate the businesses and the farmers.”

“For seven months the feeling of security has been damaged and Hezbollah is shooting and hitting in every direction. We demand from the government a clear plan for how they will fight Hezbollah and whether there will be a diplomatic resolution and a demilitarized zone or a significant war in the north,” Davidovich added.

The local activist group Lobby 1701 published a map showing the strip of land that continues to be evacuated and closed off to the public, declaring: “Independence Day 2024 – The State of Israel withdraws from the Galilee. It is shrinking.”

Read the full article at All Israel News.

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