Hamas marked its 8th anniversary of the first Qassam rocket fired at Sderot this week on Monday, October 26. The military wing of Hamas, Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades released a military report on their website stating that the organization fired its first rocket at “so-called Sderot” on October 26, 2001.

The report further promised that the Hamas military wing would continue to make life a living hell for the Zionists and liberate Palestine through jihad and martyrdom.

On the same day that the Hamas report was issued, Sderot residents gathered to inaugurate a new playground built in the memory of 4-year old Afik Ohayon, killed in the first fatal Qassam attack five years ago in Sderot, on June 28, 2004. The Qassam explosion also killed Mordechai Yosefof, 49 of Sderot. Afik’s mother, Ruthie, 28, at the time, was critically wounded while nine other residents were injured. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Qassams Kill: Qassam Rocket Victim Afik (Ohayun) Zahavi

Four-year old, Afik Ohayon killed in the first fatal Qassam rocket attack on June 28, 2005 in Sderot.

After Afik’s death, his parents divorced and remarried again. Both arrived to the October 26 dedication ceremony of the Sderot playground with their new families and children to commemorate together the memory of Afik. “It is moving to stand here today. We waited for a very long time. We will never forget Afik and we will continue to cherish his memory,” said Itzik, Afik’s father (Yediot Ahronot report, October 28, 2009).

Afik’s mother, Ruthie, held her new little baby, Shai-Li, born four months ago and stated that five years ago her life dramatically changed as did the lives of the residents of Sderot. “My and my family’s grief became everyone’s, both the residents of Sderot and of the citizens of the State of Israel. I feel everyone’s support each day and it moves me each time.”

Ruthie led the construction of the playground, and a family cousin raised funds and brought donors from Philadelphia to help build the playground. A memorial for Afik stand in the corner of the playground, along with another memorial built for other local residents killed in Qassam attacks from Sderot and Gaza-border communities.

Sderot Mayor David Buskila who personally accompanied the construction of the playground, stated that “We will continue to act in the future to enshrine the memories of Sderot residents and we will make sure that they forever remain in the hearts of all Sderot residents.”

*Jewish Breaking News also contributed to this report.

Photo By Giorgio Montersino from Milan, Italy (the kassam) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


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