No injuries were reported but the Sderot Municipality said several residents suffered from shock. Damage was caused to two vehicles.
The Color Red alert system was activated just before 9:30 p.m., and loud explosions were heard a short time later. The alert level in Sderot has been heightened due to the IDF’s activity in Gaza, and it was estimated that the Palestinians will attempt to respond to the operation in Beit Hanoun, in which seven locals were killed and 30 others were wounded.
Batya Katar, chairperson of the Sderot Parents’ Committee told Ynet that, “The fear of Qassams is real. We considered canceling classes, but we thought it would cause the children to wander in the streets or remain in their homes where it’s not as safe. Therefore, we instructed that classes be held in protected areas only.”
The Sderot PTA filed a petition in the Israeli High Court of Justice against the Ministries of Defense, Finance and Education, demanding they immediately divert funds to outfit all the schools in the town with the appropriate protection.
Sderot resident Sassi Yitzhak, 24, said “This country is a disgrace; rockets are falling here, and it is a terrible feeling. I wrote a letter to the state comptroller, the president and prime minister expressing what all Sderot residents feel. The only one who responded was the comptroller. It is just sickening what is going on in this country; every other day there is a president who harasses, a minister who sexually harasses – and nobody seems to care.”
Moris Benisti said, “Our little girl is afraid to go to sleep. Up until a few days ago we could not even hear the alert system go off.
“This government is indifferent to everything; the prime minister was here and quickly fled. The problem is that people hesitate to protest – people think of their own livelihood. I think this city should be shut down entirely; only intense protesting may lead to some results,” he said.
Lt. Col. Guy Biton, commander of the Givati battalion that operated in the Strip, said, "We only hit gunmen who were firing at our forces. If we didn't, those gunmen would be launching Qassam rockets on Sderot tomorrow."
The Palestinians, however, claimed that six of those killed were family members of Atta Shanbari, a commander at the Salah al-Din Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees' military wing.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the killing, describing the incident as a "heinous massacre." Abbas urged the international community to intervene in order to prevent a further escalation in the situation. He called on Israel and Palestinian armed groups to halt the fighting.