It isn’t a secret that the citizens of Sderot are the most experienced and trained citizens in the country of Israel, when dealing with rockets. It isn’t a secret either that the children of Sderot can brief the children of the other parts of the country, that have just joined in the line of fire. After 8 years this is understandable. The sights, horrors and non-conventional experiences they have had, that are so different from those of children living in the rest of the country. The way they cope with terror is very different than the way children, who were just forcefully introduced to it do.

Photo: Hamutal Ben Shitrit

Livnat Shaubi from the Sderot Media Center accompanied three brothers of the ages five, seven and nine for the day, and learned from them how they cope with this forced everyday reality.

Five year old Hannanel, seven year old David and nine year old Yehuda don’t really care if the IDF is the one who began with the response. As far as they are concerned they were born into a reality of terror. Into the reality of rockets landing at any given time, in an unlimited quantity, into a reality of ear-blasting explosives. The “Color Red” was not introduced to them in kinder garden like the rest of us have; the concept of the “Color Red” was familiar to them pretty much since they learned to say the word “Dad”.

Hannanel, David and Yehuda are brothers that are experiencing the war, just like all the other kids of the South these days. But for them, the experience has its toll and therefore comes their reaction.

Video: Livnat Shaubi

The three brothers, like the rest of the children in the South, haven’t been going to school since the beginning of the reaction and the intense rocket shooting. The three of them decided to launch friendly Qassam Rockets.

It began at 10 o’clock, after four days at home; some kind of new activity was in need. All of the regular games have been exhausted, including ball, Lego and board games. They began building play Qassam Rockets from plastic bottles they found. “The encounter with threat through creation for any child living in Sderot, gives them a sense of security” says Rivka their mother. “After the ‘treatment through art’ they went through last year, they became stronger and their reactions are different than in the past. I am sure the way the children of Sderot cope with the situation, is very different than the way a child from Netivot does. This is the result of the fact that they have been living in this reality since they were born”. The children are barely even shaken now a days’ when a rocket hits, and cheer the IDF on. “I am happy Tzahal (IDF) is finally reacting, now I feel that everyone knows what we are going through for so many years” says David.

They spent the afternoon building and decorating their homemade rockets and even imitated the “Color Red” siren and the echo of the hits.

They hope too, like the rest of the children of the South, that the “Color Red” will change its’ color, to the color of peace and tranquility.

*Translated by Avital Mimran-Rosenberg


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