Reality shows are popular today on television, but I want to tell you about a real-life reality that has been playing out day in and day out for the past thirteen years.
This month we had the chance to host three couples who wanted to come to Sderot to see firsthand the reality of life here. Guests are always welcome, and some spend the night with us. There is a list of sights we take them to; from fortified schools and schools that have bomb shelters on the playground, to the Sderot-Gaza border, memorials to our dead, and Kassam scars still in our streets.
The stop that seems to have the greatest impact is the police station, where recovered Kassam rockets are stored. To see and touch a Kassam; to see the pile of them and to see the things that were put inside them in hopes of causing the most damage or the greatest bodily harm put the reality of life in Sderot into its proper perspective.
As we took our guests from place to place I shared with them that when I drive, even today when things have been quiet for a while, that I am always looking for the next place to stop the car and hide if the “Tseva Adom” alarm sounds. As we were out walking around the same awareness of where we are and where we would run is always present.
I did not know if these feelings of anxiety were just mine or if others in town experience the same feelings. I therefore asked some of my townsmen if they felt the same. Everyone I spoke to said the threat of a Kassam rocket attack is always on their mind, whether while driving down the street, walking in a park, or sitting in front of the television.
Mothers are still afraid when they send their children to school, knowing that the terrorists in Gaza attack us during the early morning hours when parents go off to work and children go to school. They also know that the afternoon, when their children are walking home, is another favorite time for Hamas to target Sderot. Another favorite time for the enemy to try to kill people here is in the early evening when parents are on their way home from work or shopping.
Even though it has been relatively quiet recently since “The Pillar of Cloud” operation in Gaza a year and a half ago, we know, because history has shown that the hudna, or ceasefire, always ends sooner or later, when the terrorist groups in Gaza have re-stocked and re-train, for that is the purpose and definition of “Hudna”. (I say relatively quiet… there have been 243 Kassams fired not only at Sderot, but at other cities within the terrorist reach since the last cease fire).
click here to get started. I know this article is longer than usual but after a month of sharing the realities of life in Sderot I felt needed to share those realities with you as well.