IDF Retaliatory Strike in Gaza Following Rocket Launch Into Israel Sends Panicked Sderot Residents Into Shelters Until Day Break
Following Sunday’s rocket launch into Israel from Gaza — and the IDF’s swift response — panicked residents of the southern city where the Qassam hit spent the night in shelters, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Monday.
Though nobody was hurt in the incident, and no damage to property was incurred, the populace of Sderot, particularly children, remained in fortified rooms while Israeli jets struck terrorist targets in the nearby Hamas-controlled enclave. According to nrg, this was the most extensive IDF retaliatory attack since Operation Protective Edge two years ago.
“What went on last night was insane,” a mother of two young children told the news outlet. “Usually after a rocket falls here, the IDF response is surgical, but this time, all the windows shook.” The Sderot resident attributed the particularly harsh reaction to Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s desire to prove his abilities in his new role. “In any case, I am glad that this sporadic fire is not being permitted to continue. They [the terrorists in Gaza] have to be taught a lesson — that even errant or individual fire harms our children,” she said.
Another woman from the city said that, as the sounds of the IDF raid wafted through the air, her five children — traumatized from their experiences with Hamas rocket-fire over the years and during the last war — ran to the shelter and refused to come out until morning. Even then, the woman said, she was only able to persuade one of her sons, who suffers from anxiety, to leave the house after telling him that the IDF had fought all night and now the coast was clear.
As The Algemeiner reported in the immediate aftermath of the rocket-landing in Sderot on Sunday afternoon, Alon Schuster, the head of the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council said that the greatest problem with sporadic Qassam-fire is that it re-opens barely healed emotional wounds of a traumatized population.
Schuster added that, though sporadic fire is par for the course in the conflict-ridden region near the Gaza border, “the area has been very quiet” since the 50-day Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.
According to IDF data, since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, terrorists have fired more than 11,000 rockets into Israel. Thus far in 2016, there have been 14 sporadic attacks.