Sderot residents hope Tel Aviv finally understands them
Motorists in Tel Aviv take cover from an incoming terrorist rocket. (photo from IDF Spokesperson’s Unit via Ashernet)
In Sderot, Simone Mizrachi wearily follows her two-year-old grandson as he happily jumps on the bouncy castle in a large indoor playground. A balloon pops and she jumps. The playground has four large underground bomb shelters in case of rocket attacks.
“Enough already,” said Mizrachi about the dozens of rockets fired at this small town in recent days. “My grandson is the second generation already living through these rockets. When we see smoke from the rockets, I try to tell him, ‘Look at the clouds up there,’ but he knows it’s not clouds. At age 2, he already knows what’s going on.”
Mizrachi has lived in this lower-middle-class town of 24,000 for 32 years and has raised her four children here. For the past 13 years, she said, Sderot has been under constant rocket fire. Because it is less than a mile to the border with the Gaza Strip, there are only 15 seconds to get to a shelter after the siren sounds. The Israeli government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build bomb shelters here – at bus stops, schools and in private homes.
Now, for the first time, rockets are hitting Tel Aviv. Mizrachi said she hopes Israel can end the rocket fire all over the country. But, she added, there is a certain satisfaction in the idea that Israelis in bourgeois Tel Aviv now understand what Sderot has been living with all this time.
“Where have they been for the past 13 years?” she asks angrily. “Now, they are finally getting a taste of what it is like to live here. There are times that we get 60 rockets a day. Maybe now that they feel it, the government will finally do something.”
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