At a school in Ashkelon, children hide under chairs and tables while practicing what to do during an eventual Qassam Rocket attack. (Edi Israel/Flash90) (Edi Israel/Flash90)
At a school in Ashkelon, children hide under chairs and tables while practicing what to do during an eventual Qassam Rocket attack. (Edi Israel/Flash90)

While rocket barrages on Israel from Gaza caused no casualties, Palestinian terrorists continue to place innocent Israeli children in  their cross hairs.

By Tsivya Fox-Dobuler

Amid a barrage of 360 rockets shot into Israel from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and Wednesday, many cities in the country announced that schools would remain closed in the south and center of the country

Closings include the city of Sderot, located on the border of Gaza, which was nicknamed “The Bomb Shelter Capital of the World” following over a decade of rocket fire from Gaza.

Tuesday, a terrorist rocket made a direct hit on a toy factory in Sderot, causing a large fire that threatened to collapse the building, the local fire department said.

The southern cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba and Yavne, as well as the central cities Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan, Rishon Lezion, Rehovot, Givatayim and Modiin also closed schools.

Israel’s Home Front Command said late Tuesday that schools and businesses would remain open in Tel Aviv as well as the Shfela region even though those areas experienced rocket fire on Tuesday.

In addition to school closings, the Home Front Command limited gatherings to no more than 100 people in areas near the Gaza envelope region as well as the Lachish, Western Negev, Central Negev and Shfela regions. Gatherings of more than 300 people are not permitted in the Tel Aviv metropolis area.

Ben Gurion Airport, located between Tel Aviv and Modiin, has operated as usual in spite of the rocket attacks.

The centrally located city of Modiin experienced two rockets overhead. The first was shot at civilians on Tuesday, sending residents to bomb shelters. It was intercepted by the Iron Dome. The second was at 6:30 am Wednesday morning.

Modiin resident Sidra Collins, told United With Israel that the city canceled school on Tuesday, following the rocket attack. “I decided to work from home on Tuesday instead of going to work in Hod HaSharon [in central Israel] so I wouldn’t have to worry about being out in my car and getting hit by a rocket,” she said.

Collins explained to United With Israel that there is a bomb shelter in her home, something that apartments built before 1992 generally lack as they wer not yet required. United With Israel has sponsored 19 bomb shelters to date for older Israeli communities that lack the life-saving protective rooms.

“We have 90 seconds to get inside our ‘safe room’ from when the red alert siren goes off,” she said. “We are required to stay there for 10 minutes following the siren. The rest of the country south of where we live has much less time and has been living with rockets for years.”

Following being told that school had been closed in Modiin due to the rockets, Collins’ son Aryeh, 12 said, “Why would they cancel school? We practice all the time to go to the shelters when terrorist rockets are shot at us. What’s the point of practicing if we can’t go into school shelters when we need to?”

Israeli residents living near the Gaza border, in cities such as Sderot, have only 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter before the possibility of being struck.

The rocket attacks claim to be in retaliation for Israel’s targeted killing early Tuesday of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror chief Baha Abu al-Ata. Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza, as well as Palestinian Islamic Jihad seek the destruction of Israel.

The Iron Dome succeeded in intercepting 90 percent of rockets directed at Israel’s civilian areas, according to reports. The other 10 percent of the missiles struck homes, businesses and roadways, causing significant damage and at least 35 injuries.

Hospitals remain on high alert in light of the ongoing attacks.

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