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The reality we face where I live in Sderot

Noam Bedein
CEO, Sderot and Western Negev Regional News Service
Sderot Information Center for the Western Negev Ltd
12 Rakefet Street
Sderot , Israel
tel. 077 3002576

“Over 250,000 Israelis now live under the threat of the kassam missiles”- Head of Israeli Military Intelligence to the Israel Knesset Parliament Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, Jan.1st, 2008

Since the first day of January until today, January 20th, over 430 Kassam missiles and mortars were launched towards Sderot, the Western Negev and Ashkelon , according to the IDF spokesman.

In 2007, over 2300 missiles and mortars were launched towards Israel from Gaza .

How many thousands of kassam missiles will be launched in the year 2008 towards Israel ?

Living through 200 rockets in the past few days launched towards Sderot…Hearing the screeching siren- “Red Color- Tseva Adom’ every time a rocket is launched… Running for cover in the 15 seconds left… Hearing the whistle, and a few seconds later an enormous explosion…And listening to that laconic newscast on the Voice of Israel …“No Damage, No Injuries, a few were treated for shock”… this is Sderot reality.

Watching a 5 year old boy who was crying after he saw his mother blown away from the explosion of a kassam that hit directly into his play room, where he was playing on his computer with his 5 year old neighbor… Witnessing both boys evacuated to the ambulance, both shivering with shock…this is Sderot reality.
190,000 are under the threat of these missiles today, including Ashkelon , Netivot and 20 Kibbutzim and Moshavim.45,000 Israelis are daily bombarded by these missiles.

Officially 20,000 residents, of a normal population of close to 24,000, are left in Sderot, although there are those who say that it is probably less than 17,000 residents.

Each and every resident has experienced an explosion of a rocket\missile in the past few years… this is Sderot reality.

The feeling of helplessness once the siren goes off, seeing young soldiers who were sent to ‘protect’ Sderot running and covering the heads with their hands, their weapons useless…Feeling that my only weapon is my video-camera to try and document this weird reality so that some one would be willing to watch and listen… this is Sderot reality.

Driving around Sderot, with no seat-belt because the seconds spent unfastening it might cost me my life… hearing the siren go off, jumping out of the car and running for cover to the closest bus stop shelter, while holding the hands of a grandmother and her grandchild, until we reach the bus stop, which is already crowded with parents and their children on their way to school…this is Sderot reality.

Trying not to panic in front of the children, thinking to myself that a direct hit on this bus stop would be a death trap since only 2 months ago there was an investigative report showing bus stops\bomb shelters are not qualified as bomb shelters since they are built with only 20 centimeters thickness of cement, when the requirement is 40 centimeters to withstand a direct hit. And now there are 52 lethal bus stop shelters like these scattered around the town where dozens of people take cover from the missiles…this is Sderot reality

10 missiles exploded in Sderot on Thursday morning, while children were on their way to school and kindergarten. My younger sister Liora, who moved to Sderot to work with the children, described their panic. As they ran to the shelter she grabbed three young children and escorted them to the safe room and started to sing out loud so they wouldn’t hear the missile exploding near by… That safe room contained over 25 children. This was their only activity room where in the past few days they have been spending their playtime…For safety, they are not allowed to play outside. This is Sderot reality.

Hearing from families I know, as they all sleep together with parents and children in one bed, with the fear of the siren going off and no shelter to run to, since 752 homes in Sderot have no shelter or safe room… this is Sderot reality.

This past Friday. the 18th of January, there was a memorial in Sderot’s cemetery, for Ella Abukasis, who was murdered when she was only 17, three years ago, by a direct hit from a kassam rocket that hit her as she huddled over her younger brother, who was 11 years old at the time… this is Sderot reality.

Will there be any ending to this terrorism of missiles being launched towards civilian neighborhoods?

How can Israel defend its own citizens, with out being condemned, when 97 percent of the targets of Gazan missiles hit our civilian population, while the Gazans fire their missiles from behind the human shields of their own civilian population?

What about the hundreds of tunnels dug beneath the “Philadelphi corridor” in which Egypt routinely delivers ammunition, army equipment, terrorists and cash to Gaza ?

When will Israel hold Egypt and these Palestinian terror leaders personally responsible for the suffering of the people of Sderot?

When will Sderot reality change?

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Being Jewish, my heart is with my people in Sderot.
It is true that there is no morally acceptable solution to this situation. Moving out of Sderot would mean that the strategy worked leading eventually to all Jews having to move out from Israel (as Hamas and Islamic Jihad expands the range of their rockets.)

Since there is no morally acceptable solution, than perhaps we a morally unacceptable solution is better than the status quo: Retaliate, not against the rocket crews, but against the Palestinian decision makers and the upper class. They will soon stop sending their fighters.
We will just have to accept that world will protest. Let them.

Ray Bright USA 22 January 2008

What kind of sick, demented people build schools and put their children into a war zone?

Are you saying that because a few kassam missiles was launched into your area, this justifies your public slaughter of the Palestinian people? You Zionists are really sick. The mentality is no different from the Nazi sick mentality. And your actions are the same.

Vusi Johannesburg 27 January 2009

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