May 18, 2007
By TOVAH LAZAROFF AND JPOST STAFF
An man is seen through the shattered glass of a car that
was hit by a rocket in Sderot Thursday Photo: AP
A teacher comforts a student after a rocket hit their
school in Sderot. Photo: AP
Four Kassam rockets were fired at Sderot on Friday morning. There were no reports of casualties or damage.
The IDF reported that the Kassam-launching cell was hit shortly after the rockets were launched. At least one of the terrorists was killed.
Late Thursday night, a Kassam rocket struck a synagogue in Sderot, wounding one person and sending a number of others into shock.
Over 200 people had been at the synagogue only a half an hour prior to the rocket strike, and 20 to the 30 of them were still in the area at the time of the attack, Noam Bedin, director of the Sderot Information Center told the Jerusalem Post.
One person was lightly wuounded in the attack, and a number of others suffered from shock, Bedin said.
Earlier, fear, panic and bitterness reached the boiling point in Sderot as angry residents burst into the office of Mayor Eli Moyal and demanded to be evacuated from the city.
They wanted to join about 800 others, whom the city had dispatched earlier in the day to a hotel in the center of the country for three nights. The locals were bused out as a relief measure after the southern border city was hit by dozens of Palestinian-launched Kassam rockets fired from Gaza in the last three days; 20 fell yesterday alone.
"We've had enough," Moyal's distraught citizens shouted as they surrounded his desk, just as Rabbi Yehiel Eckstein, of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, entered the room for a planned press conference to announce a NIS 6.5 million donation to Sderot - intended to rehabilitate its 58 public bomb shelters, of which only 23 are operational.
The angry crowd, some of whom clutched small children and others their overnight bags, quieted down as Eckstein entered. "He's the man who can take us out of here," one man said of Eckstein, letting him pass. But when the rabbi's statement related solely to the bomb shelters, they were unimpressed.
"We want to leave," they begged.
Moyal told them that the Defense Ministry had only provided funding for that first group.
But under the glare of the television cameras recording the press conference, Moyal agreed that Eckstein would fund a relief trip for a few hundred more residents.
Among them was Ivon Asuly, 65, who was out of breath after she walked up two flights of stairs to Moyal's office. "This is difficult," she said, as she clutched the banister and paused at the top.
A resident of Sderot for 45 years, she had placed herself on the evacuation list, along with her daughter and four grandchildren, the day before.