A mortar shell fired by Palestinian terrorists in north Gaza Wednesday morning exploded near a number of kindergartens in a kibbutz located in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. There were no reports of injury, but slight damage was caused to one of the kindergartens.
IDF forces located the shell's landing site. The shell exploded a half-hour before the children were supposed to arrive at the kindergartens.
"We heard a loud explosion. I woke up in a panic," a kibbutz resident said. "The shell exploded about 100 meters (330 feet) from my house. The blast was so powerful it set off the car alarms. It was very frightening.
"The shell landed between the buildings. It could have ended in a great tragedy," he said.
Soldiers near mortar landing site (Photo: Roee Idan)
Yenina accompanied her son to the kindergarten shortly after the mortar hit. "There is no choice but to get back to the routine," she said. "It is a holiday today. People are not as happy, but the kindergartens are fortified and everyone brought their children. The Color Red alert system does not warn residents of incoming mortars as it does when Qassams are fired. That's the scary part. Qassams and mortars fall here on an almost daily basis."
One of the kindergartens that was almost hit by the mortar has a protective roof, but its walls are not shielded. "The mortar's landing site is proof of why all the structures, including their walls, must be fortified urgently," another kibbutz resident said.
The security establishment has decided to keep the area's kindergarten's open Wednesday, but the children will remain indoors for the coming hours.
On Tuesday at around 2 am, the residents of Sderot and the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council awoke to the sound of the Color Red siren. A Qassam rocket hit the area a short while later, but there were no reports of injury or damage.
The firing of rockets from Gaza increased following the launching of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.