This week Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fire two Qassam rockets towards Sderot, just as Israeli children returned to school after the Passover holiday. Parents with children were seen ducking for cover. The rockets exploded within an open area. No injuries or damage was reported. The last rocket was fired after Israel launched air strikes on two terror targets within Gaza following the Palestinian firing of a rocket at Israel’s Eshkol region. This escalation raises fears that the situation could once again deteriorate after months of relative calm in southern Israel.
Sderot resident Shimon Abutbul, who was taking his son to school when the Qassams hit, stated “I had a feeling that [Hamas] would respond after the IDF attacked Gaza last night, and that’s exactly what happened. It is frightening to send children to school like this. But we calm down as soon as they arrive at their fortified school.” The IDF asserted that they believe the terrorists within Gaza fired these rockets knowing full well that Israeli children would be on the way to school. Regardless, Sderot Mayor David Buskila asserted, “I think the IDF’s response is adequate. We must not return to the reality that prevailed here before Pillar of Defense.”
According to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, “The IDF struck Gaza last night, as we see Hamas as being responsible for everything that is fired from the Strip at Israel. We won’t allow any routine involving a drizzle of rockets at our civilians and forces. In the Golan Heights, our policy too is that we have no intention of ignoring fire from Syria at Israeli territory, whether intentional or not, and we’ll respond to every attack.”
This past February, a rocket was fired towards Ashkelon for the first time since the conclusion of the war. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz defined that incident as “severe.” Last month, a bullet fired from Gaza hit a jeep carrying the commander of the IDF’s Northern Gaza Territorial Brigade and during President Obama’s visit to Israel, four rockets were fired at Israel. A house in Sderot was damaged and one preschooler was injured while several others were treated for shock.
Eldad Sharabi, who accompanied his daughter to the school that was hit by the Qassam rocket during President Obama’s visit, stated, “It is certainly not a pleasant site for a little girl. I wanted to come and make sure that the damage to the preschool is not causing emotional damage to the children, but the Color Red siren sounded as I was examining the damage. I think the government must do something.” Shimrit Amar, another Sderot parent whose child attended that preschool proclaimed, “I wanted to see how much damage was caused. I thought the preschool was fortified. It is frightening to see how lucky we were that the school was empty when the Qassam hit.”
Watch this news clip to see first-hand what Israelis are dealing with: