While volunteering with special needs kids on Thursday, "Tzevah Adom" sounded. Because it was during a repelling activity, I was hanging from the top of a tree when the alert sounded. So the dude in charge got me down as fast as he could. Then I took the safety thing off and ran into the shelter outside (pictured below), relieved I made it in time before the boom.
As soon as I entered I said, "I knew the Tzevah Adom was going to go off while I was up there", not thinking the Qassam was going to land near us. I smiled in relief, and began fixing my glasses as they appeared broken. Ten seconds later... the loudest boom of my life! I've never heard such a sound. It was crazy. How does the city endure these attacks everyday?
Kids were crying, I was worried for the children, teachers were making sure their students were okay. It was total mayhem. Eighteen people were treated for shock. You can't think or speak during these crazy times.
Anyway, the Qassam landed 50 feet outside the school in a pile of sand - right in between the school and a block of houses. The rocket also landed 20 feet to the right of a block of houses - wow, what a miracle - so close to a disaster.
I am constantly asked if I'm going to leave Sderot because of what happened. How could I leave Sderot after what happened? I need to stay to show the world the terror people live with daily here. This is what needs to be done.
As I've said earlier in my blog:
1) Sderot and the western Negev has been under rocket attack over seven years.
2) Since Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza two and a half years ago, over 2,000 rockets have been fired on the western Negev.
3) There are 78 bomb shelters all over the western Negev that need repairs of $15,000-$20,000.
4) There are 800 houses without any protection from the Qassams.
5) Only a third of the schools in Sderot are fully protected from the rocket threat.
Hopefully because of my experience today, someone may decide to open up their pocketbook to help the people, but most importantly, the children of Sderot.
I'm going to stay for the duration of my time in Israel. To me, the attack was one of the scariest days of my life. But to the rest of Sderot, it was just another day, another Qassam.