Jerusalem, Israel, has been under siege the last two weeks, with a battle between Moshe Lion and Ofer Berkovitch for the position of Mayor of Jerusalem.
As of now it appears Moshe Lion has won the election.
A very different battle has been going on in Israel’s south along the Gaza border.
Hundreds of students from Sderot led the way on a journey to the Rose Garden, across from the Knesset, to protest growing up on the front line of a war zone, and declared: “Let Us Grow Up in Quiet.”
As I wrote last week for 17 years southern Israel has been under attack.
After Israel allowed the transfer of $15 million to Hamas from Qatar, a barrage of 500 rockets fell on southern Israel in one day.
This building in Ashkelon took a direct hit.
One man was killed and one woman seriously injured.
At the site, police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld held interview after interview with the media.
But did you see that the building across the way had shrapnel marks?
The heavily damaged building is next door to a synagogue, which like many synagogues in southern Israel is located inside a bomb shelter.
During the barrage of rockets from Gaza, most Israelis huddled in bomb shelters.
This view of the apartment where the man was killed shows part of the destruction.
The kitchen reminded me of the home in Kiryat Malachi in 2012, where 3 people were killed by a Hamas rocket that hit their building during Operation Pillar of Defense.
While the apartment in Ashkelon was destroyed, the fish bowl that sat on a shelf and the flat screen TV next to it were unscratched.
Besides the apartment of the dead man, other families in the building were severely affected.
The property loss to the apartments on the side of building that was hit was extensive.
Though restaurants in Sderot without bomb shelters were forced to close, these stores next to the damaged building in Ashkelon were open for business as politicians arrived all day to make statements to the media eager for a story.
The building which took a direct hit with a fatality got a bit of coverage and media interest.
But Ashkelon, a city of 150,000, suffered more damage. After a sleepless night with repeated warnings of incoming rockets, many properties were damaged.
This safe room saved a family from harm.
They were not directly hit, but a rocket that hit the roof of the building next door caused their windows to shatter.
Take a few minutes and hear a father explain his pain.
There was no school in the south, but there were no children playing on this Sderot playground.
With the constant rocket barrage, staying in or near a bomb shelter was the only wise thing to do.
Across the street, Yonatan Yagodovsky of MDA first gave us instructions where to go for a red alert. Only afterwards did he describe the work and dedication of MDA over the years, and especially during the last few days.
Sderot took direct hits from from rockets this time. Thanks to the Iron Dome not all rockets from Gaza cause damage.
However, a piece of shrapnel that fell caused a fire at this bakery.
Deputy Mayor Elad Kalimi told how three gas tanks behind him exploded and destroyed the bakery. It took hours to control the fire.
Next stop was Kissufim, note how empty the roads were in middle of the day.
Sorry I missed getting a photo of the MDA ambulances parked next to a bomb shelter at a bus stop.
Ambulances were out on the roads ready to roll in an instant, but I saw no military vehicles.
Kissufim is a small community near the Gaza border fence.
Over night, a rocket had fallen between this row of homes.
Glass windows were shattered. Shrapnel marks were evident.
Tree branches scattered all around.
There were no serious physical injuries as all stayed in safe rooms.
At another site on Kissufim, this car window was damaged and the baby seat exposed. Here damage was from shrapnel of a rocket which landed nearby on a pile of mulch.
This is the home next to the damaged car.
500 rockets. Rockets fell on the beach. Rockets fell between houses.
I kept thinking that it was one mini-miracle after another.
Our guide at Kissufim made sure to point out the mountain of garbage over the border fence, rising from the former flat fertile fields in Gaza.
“This area is not protected” reads the warning not to stand near the opening in this bomb shelter in parking lot of Yad Mordechai.
We missed a red alert warning which went off before we arrived at Kissufim.
As we were to leave from Yad Mordechai, a red alert went off. Instead of running into this dark shelter alone, I headed to the one inside the restaurant where everyone gathered, waited, and then dispersed.
Residents are tired of living on the front lines of an area where they are not protected.
We drove back to Jerusalem, past Kibbutz Saad, past Ashkelon, as the sun set.
Terror. Anger. Frustration. Miracles. Israel.
7 thoughts on “Another Round from Gaza”
Very sad!!! I don’t know how these people manage😞 Thanks for covering this difficult subject.
Truly difficult. We have family there, so have followed closely for years. This last round was more intense than past. Not sure what will happen next as Liberman quit.
Thank you for sharing. Sorry it had to be this kind of news. You are correct, we are hearing very little here.
Take care of yourselves.
Thanks. Please share.
As the sign says: “Kulanu Im HaDarome”.
Thank you for letting us see and making us feel.
Thank you Sharon. Shabbat shalom.
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