With a new entrance to the city, Sderot is undergoing a face lift, an image change, an extreme make over. The city fathers have been working very hard to change the image of Sderot worldwide. While (in their opinion) things have been “quiet” since December 2009 and the end of “Cast Lead”, (with only 535 rockets or mortars fired from Gaza since the cease-fire), the city fathers want Sderot to be like any other city in the free world.

The beautification committee has gotten together, grants have been applied for, and trips have been made to other countries to present Sderot in a light that would gain support. New parks have been developed along with new play areas for kids. The sad thing is they have few if any bomb shelters nearby.

“With all the plans to give Sderot a new look, the reality remains that Hamas has an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 rockets and mortars pointed at us.

Everyone would like to return back to the pre 2001 times, before the days of Kassams and the “Tseva Adom” warning system. We all would like to return to those days when alarms in our homes were not necessary. How very much we wish that we could go back to a time before the need for the memorial parks and stones that now are scattered throughout the city in memory of those taken from us.

On one hand the city is trying to change its Kassam riddled image by its beautification efforts and on the other hand “Mamads”, or bomb shelters, are being built for every apartment in town. Some 5000 of them are to be built at a cost of one billion shekels.

“Sael Abecassis, with Sderot Media Center, was quoted as saying to CBS news, “If they’re building 5,000 bomb shelters all over and they’re investing half a billion shekels and all the schools are being protected, you don’t need to be a prophet to know what they expect in the future.”

In spite of the entire new PR, and the beautiful parks, the fact of the matter is Sderot is and will always be the “Bomb Shelter Capital of the World” Don’t get me wrong for one second I love living in Sderot. It has some of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met. The only problem Sderot has is… It has neighbors that aren’t very nice, and they want to destroy her.