Around three o’clock in the afternoon, a group of American and Canadian students visiting Israel on a gap-year (Young Judea) program, with their advisor Sheldon Shulman, visited Sderot for two hours.
A few hours earlier, seven Qassam rockets had been fired at Sderot and the western Negev from the northern Gaza Strip.
The tour began at the Sderot Police Station, where the group viewed hundreds of rockets on display and listened to an SMC representative lecture about the rocket situation. The group noted the different colored rockets, representing the different Palestinian terror groups, from Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigades, Hamas, and Islami Jihad, who launch them.
Following the rocket gallery, the group proceeded to visit a home that was hit by a rocket a week previously on April 29. The owners of the home Carmit and Oshri Malka were not home at the time of the attack, which took place at 9:00am. Half an hour before, the Malkas brought their two young sons to school.
The Malkas home does not have a bomb shelter, like most of the homes in their neighborhood. Instead they actually use their bathroom as the family bomb shelter at the time the siren sounds.
Carmit Malka answered the group’s questions and explained that she and her family are fighting two battles now. “The first was with this rocket that Hamas fired over..the second battle facing us is getting the Israeli goverment to help us out.”
Students asked Carmit how they could help her family. One gap-year student even began to formulate a plan for raising money for a bomb shelter for Sderot back in her community in California.
At the end of the tour the group visited the city center and market place and viewed the bomb shelters in the area