Southern residents: We're living on borrowed time
In wake of rocket attack, southern Israel residents say they feel abandoned, defenseless and angry at country that prioritizes certain communities over others; 'Our lives are like a game of Russian roulette. How long will this so-called luck last?' says one resident
The recent escalation in southern Israel has taken its toll on local residents as over 50 rockets were fired Wednesday from the Gaza Strip. The attack has left residents feeling abandoned, defenseless and angry.
"We just lie on top of our children and try to protect them with our bodies," said one resident.
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In the recent round of rocket fire, three foreign workers at the Eshkol Regional Council were injured. As the wounded victims were transferred to hospitals, some communities in the area have announced that all school activity is to be cancelled.
House that took direct hit (Photo: Reuters)
Wednesday's rocket barrage has left residents questioning the readiness of their community bomb shelters.
"We're just waiting for the next 'Color Red' alert to sound," Mickey, a local resident, told Ynet. "We know it's coming, we just don't know when or where it will hit. We have 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter but the chances of making it are slim, so we just take the kids to a room with no windows and use it as a protected space. It's a bit like Russian roulette."
House in Eshkol (Photo: Roi Idan)
Zelpa, whose house was directly hit by a rocket, expressed her anger at the government's decision to neglect Israel's southern communities.
"We don't have protected spaces. My house was hit and it's a miracle that I came out of it alive. We're living on borrowed time. The question is: How long will this so-called luck last? Maybe we should just go sleep at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's home so we can all feel safe," she said.
More than 50 rockets and mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel since Tuesday night, 30 of them at the Eshkol area. Five houses suffered a direct hit.
The Iron Dome system intercepted seven rockets fired at Hof Ashkelon.
Two of the three foreign workers who were injured in the attack, sustained serious wounds and one sustained light wounds. They were rushed to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.
Children of southern communities demand shelters (Photo: Avi Rokach)
A woman residing at the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council was lightly wounded after running to a shelter. She was taken to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.
The army launched several airstrikes in Gaza since Tuesday night in response to rocket fire.
Taking geographic variables into consideration, local authorities decided to fortify only certain southern communities in the "line of fire," while others do not receive protected spaces.
"Our shelter is basically built out of cardboard with an asbestos roof," said Ilan, a local resident. "In some houses, the walls are made out of plaster. It's just ridiculous that we protect this country with our bodies. we send our children to war and we don't even get basic protection," he added.
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