Another day, another rocket
What does a place such as Sderot do to celebrate Israel’s independence? Over the past seven years, thousands of rockets have rained down on the town. Over 20 people have been killed and residents live in fear for their lives. Acclaimed photographer Judah
THIS TOWN is cursed. Nothing is made, assembled, grown, bottled or canned here.
The 20,000 souls who live in Sderot — most of them Russian immigrants and second generation North Africans — live in a grim, development-town reality of grinding poverty and official neglect. And then there are the rockets.
Within eyeshot of northern Gaza, Sderot is at the receiving end of a variety of rockets launched several times a day from orchards, back yards and alleys by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah.
The arsenal includes the homemade Kassams; the improved, longer-range Kassam 2; and more recently, the Iranian-supplied Grad. The irony of these attacks is that the people of Sderot are probably as poor and disenfranchised as the Palestinians who are firing the rockets at them. As a target, this town is a particularly poor choice to make a political point.
When the “Code Red” alert soundsacrossSderotwarningofan incoming rocket, the real point of these attacks becomes clear: fear.
A teacher at the local elementary school suddenly finds herself having to choose between running home to make sure her own children are safe, and seeing to the safety of the children in her classroom.
An elderly man knows that when the alert sounds, he is not going to be able to run across the street from his house to the shelter before the rocket falls from the sky. So he spends his days sitting at the entrance to the shelter, waiting.
The rockets have actually killed very few residents of Sderot. The real toll they have taken is a psychological one. It has made unbearable an already pretty miserable life. It is a cheap target. It is terror. JUDAH PASSOW
Top: An IDF Merkava tank at an Independence Day military display in Sderot. Above: Pieces of Kassam rockets stacked at the town’s police station. Below: The mother of Yaakov Arpi grieves at his grave on Remembrance Day