“There’s no place to run”

Friday, June 30, 2006 |  by Nicole Jansezian
SDEROT – During a week of rising tensions, two kidnappings and military incursions, rockets launched by Palestinians just 1 kilometer away fell unabated in the Negev town of Sderot, a city of 24,000.

“Everyday you wake up wondering if Kassams will fall,” said 13-year-old Sveta Tritanko. “It’s very hard to live here. Our parents are scared to let us go out. Sometimes we don’t even go to school.”

Residents described how they never wear pajamas in their homes, not even to bed, in case the Red Dawn Alert system calls out its warning of incoming rockets and they need to run from the house. Some residents have had to take pills for their emotional well-being.

The Red Dawn Alert is a city-wide siren that calls out “Shahar Adom” (Red Dawn) to warn residents that a Kassam is incoming. The alert once gave residents 20 seconds to take cover, but now several residents say they have less than 10 seconds and, at times, the explosions and the alert have even been simultaneous.

Not that it matters too much, residents say.

“There’s no place to run,” said Yafa Rassad. “You’re just sitting there, and you have no idea where it’s going to fall. Not everyone in Sderot has a bomb shelter.”

israel today visited Sderot and spoke with several of the city’s residents about the troubles they face, from fear for their lives to psychological damage - broken lives that are much harder to fix than their damaged homes.

The signs in the photo read “The Israeli government has failed!” and “Kassam-Rockets kill!”

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