While 10 people were injured after a Grad rocket hit an
Ashdod yeshiva's courtyard, a much bigger disaster was averted just several blocks away. A rocket which landed near a synagogue where several worshippers prayed failed to explode on Friday.
"No doubt our prayers saved us," one of the yeshiva students said. The synagogue was eventually demolished as security forces worked to clear the rocket parts. "This was a miracle," another yeshiva student said.
Escalation in South:
Worshippers belonging to the Ger Hasidic sect pray at the Ashdod synagogue daily. Akiva Goldman said that after hearing a siren sound, the worshippers initially deliberated whether to stay inside. "We were wearing our prayer shawls and tefilin and people felt uncomfortable running outside and seeking shelter, and that's why we stayed inside the synagogue."
Damage caused to Ashdod yeshiva (Photo: EPA)
Seconds later Goldman and two of his friends heard a loud blast and watched as the room filled with white dust. "No doubt our prayers saved us," Goldman said. The three yeshiva students, aged 25-30, plan to say the benediction of deliverance on Saturday.
The grad rocket landed and became stuck in the floor of synagogue, a caravan building. It was decided to demolish parts of it since the rocket could not be cleared otherwise. Torah scrolls and prayer shawls were moved to an adjacent building.
Yossi Tzemach, an MDA medic and ZAKA volunteer said: "We heard a Color Red alert and after the blast realized a rocket had landed nearby. We entered the synagogue where we found three frightened yeshiva students who appeared completely shocked. Luckily no one was hurt, as the synagogue is usually packed with worshippers during the day."
Prayer services were also halted in the nearby yeshiva where a rocket exploded earlier. Two people were seriously injured and eight sustained light wounds. They were all rushed the the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.
Shmulik Hadad, Tomer Velmer and Nir Cohen contributed to this report