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Israel: Ashkelon is ‘on the map’

Missiles have fallen in the city of Ashkelon, one directly hitting a residential building, and another very close to a public school. This is a substantial shift as Ashkelon, a major city in Israel, had been off-limits to the Gazan missile attacks until recently. The attack, caught the city's residents by surprise, as it has yet to install its “color red” missile attack warning systems.

On Wednesday this week, a harsh qassam missile attack hit the south of Israel, killing a 47-year-old student, father of four, at the Sapir College campus. In response, IDF escalated its attacks on targets in Gaza, in which four Palestinian children were killed. This led to rocket launches, hitting the city of Ashkelon. Many worried bloggers from Ashkelon react, describing their experiences with terror and fear, within this deteriorating situation that seems ever more hopeless:

reaction1:

Ashkelon… Today this city is on the map. But not because of an impressive accomplishment, but because of Grad missiles that Hamas sent over as presents. A Grad rocket fell in my neighborhood (I heard its whistling as it passed my house, right before the explosion), and 4-5 more around town. But this is peanuts for our prime minister. And our mayor is too busy dealing with the sexual harassment case, that I'm doubtful if he can improve on anything.
So what are we doing? Maybe we'll just stay in our houses and live in fear. Maybe we will move from Ashkelon to another place, where within 5 years we'll realize that rockets also fall in Tel Aviv, where our honorable aristocrats live.
Did we not learn from past generations? The powerful Israel, with this amazingly shiny army, peer brotherhood – all this destroyed. Youth turning against each other, while the saying ‘to die for our country’ is considered from an ancient time, passed onto us only by stories from our grandfather, who now also says ‘damn it'!

reaction2:

Here, Abu Mazn, our moderate partner, is not opposed to resuming the armed struggle against Israel. This hopeless situation seems to have no resolution. While it is easy to say that the government does not do anything and that this is an outrage, there is not much that can be done against such simple weapons. True, there exists a laser system that intercepts, but it does not promise 100 per cent success. When 100 rockets are launched per day, or even per week, it is only a matter of time before one causes severe damage.

reaction3:

Until this didn't reach us, I had not thought much about Sderot.
Every day there is talk about qassam missiles falling there; death, injury and anxiety. All that did not really get to me.
But now I understand it. I comprehend the fear and terror that lingers there, and our country that does not take them into consideration. Why should it do something for Ashkelon? A death here, or death there. Not to worry, only a person's life.

reaction4:

It tears me apart, cuts and forms a scab. I am torn after reading this(Israeli student killed by a qassam missile).
First Sderot, then Ashkelon and soon Ashdod (where I live). As I am a political science major, people constantly ask me “what should be done against the Qassam missiles? How do we make peace?”
I always answer “its not that simple…” and change the topic.

The more I learn about this topic, the more I realize that I do not understand anything. So many layers and complexities which are keeping me from formulating a solid political stance. On the one hand, I was raised in a Russian home, preaching that Lieberman (strong right wing anti-arab views) needs to manage the country. But on the other hand, aggression only places the rest of the world against us. Receiving 40 qassam missiles per day as a routine is not acceptable.

The only thing I do know is that our leadership is extremely defective, rotten and must be changed!
I will finish with hope for the residents of Ashkelon and Sderot, that these terrible days will soon come to an end, and we will wake up from this nightmare.

reaction5:

They did not help Sderot. What about us?!

First of all, I am from Ashkelon, and this is frightening. I just got back home. Difficult to write. Only half an hour ago a qassam missle hit. I was in practice and went outside to find a friend. She cried. Was very stressed. Then we heard two little blasts and she started crying. Then there was a powerful ‘BoooooooM'! Really powerful, as if in the school. We immediately ran to the sports hall. Everyone was worried. Missiles fell close to where I live.
Tomorrow I am not going to school.

reaction6:

The south is red, not from flowers.
I cannot comprehend it.
Every 10 minutes at least, there is a siren sounding. At first, I was one of those who laughed at all the worried people. How did I become one of them?
Qassam missiles are falling without stop in the past couple of days. Two fell in my settlement today. One close. Yesterday another fell close, very very close.
Why do people only notice this issue when it reaches Ashkelon? What about us?
We are not a city so we are not important?
I'm dying to get out of here. This is becoming very frightening.

Sad for me to think that yesterday I was not even aware of the situation, and now am baffled at how it was allowed to reach this point.

Here are links to our previous posts covering this topic:
Israel: Two Sderot Kids Severely Injured by Hamas Missiles
Israel: Israeli Bloggers Respond to Crisis in Palestine
Israel: Rockets Hit Sderot, Flame the Israeli Blogosphere
Israel: Sderot's Invisible Wounds

  • http://bumpedoff3.blogster.com Jason Paz

    My heart goes out to anyone under attack. Though, I must caution Jews not to worry so much. Only God decides WHEN we die, not men. If your number is up, God will take you wherever you are.
    The drawback for us Israelis is we are the only responsible party in the dispute. Nobody else gives a hoot about the well being of us in the region Jew or Muslim.
    The day of the qassam rocket launchers is over.
    Since 18 February Kosovo has declared independence from Serbia. Cold War II has begun. Russia and China oppose NATO. Anything else is a boring sideshow. History has passed us by and I for one am very happy about it.

  • Pingback: Global Voices Online » Israel: Palestinian Gunman Kills 8 Students in Mercaz Harav, Jerusalem

  • Pingback: Global Voices Online » Israel: Broken Truce Angers Israelis

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