A Qassam rocket fired from Gaza slammed between two Sderot homes around 5:30 pm on Tuesday, May 19. The Tzeva Adom, Color Red siren blared twice in the city sending residents fleeing to area bomb shelters. After the second Color Red siren, an unusually loud explosion sounded throughout the city.
The sound of the rocket explosion shocked no one more than Ilan Dahan. Ilan was sleeping when the Qassam rocket crashed into his backyard right outside his bedroom.
Shula Dahan, owner of damaged home, on the phone.
Photo: Noam Bedein
“I slept right through the Color Red siren,” said Ilan. Ilan, dazed and shocked, guides us to his bedroom. His bed is full of broken glass, from a window right above the bed, which had shattered all over his back. “I felt the glass implode all over me,” he said.
“It’s a miracle that all I got was this small scratch,” Ilan told Sderot Media Center. A piece of broken glass struck Ilan’s back, leaving behind a red mark.
Both Ilan’s parents were home when the rocket struck. His father raced into Ilan’s bedroom after the rocket struck, picked his son up and carried him outside to safety. “At that point, I didn’t even realize that the rocket hit right outside our home,” said Ilan, who is 18 and getting ready to enter the army.
Shula, Ilan’s mother, looks at her son tearfully. “I never expected this to happen to us during a ceasefire,” she said. The family was sitting outside in the front of the home to cool off from the heat of the evening when the siren sounded.
“We didn’t react quickly enough to the siren,” said Shula. “If we had reacted, we would have raced to the back of the home where our new shelter is located. Most likely one of us would have been injured because the rocket exploded right outside the shelter.”
The back of the Dahan’s home suffered severe damage from the rocket blast. Broken glass and debris litters the floor, while holes from rocket shrapnel rocket mark the ceiling and walls. Outside, the Dahan’s shelter is also covered with shrapnel marks.
Sderot home damaged in Qassam attack on Tuesday, May 19.
Photo: Noam Bedein
The rocket explosion also damaged the home next to the Dahans.
Family members from both sides suffered shock, as did neighbors further along the street. Several people were treated for trauma on the scene.
The rocket attack comes around the same time that the Sderot Mental Health Center is shutting down. Dr. Adrianne Katz, the head of Sderot Mental Health told Sderot Media Center that the mental health center is closing due to budget cuts. The Sderot Mental Health Center has provided therapy treatments to thousands of Sderot trauma victims and has 5, 500 patients on file.
The Gaza rocket attacks on Sderot come after the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama in the White House on Monday.
During a White House press conference after the meeting, President Obama stated, that “there is a recognition that the Palestinians are going to have to do a better job providing the kinds of security assurances that Israelis would need to achieve a two-state solution, [and] gain additional legitimacy and credibility with their own people, and delivering services.”
Obama also added “that the situation in Sderot was unacceptable, and that he’d seen the situation there himself.”
Indeed, when Obama visited Sderot last year, he stated in a Sderot press conference “I will work from the moment that I return to America, to tell the story of Sderot and to make sure that the good people who live here are enjoying a future of peace and security and hope.”
He also stated that, “The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”
Tuesday marked the fifth month since the Hamas-Israel ceasefire in mid-January. During that time, over 210 rockets have been fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza at Israel.
Security officer digging for the Qassam with Sderot mayor, David Bouskilla upfront.
Photo: Noam Bedein