Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Kassams, Grads and Missiles......Part 2

To read Part 1 ... click Nov. in the archives and scroll down

On Wednesday, Dec. 25th, at 8:05 a.m., I was busy making breakfast for my family when the first air raid siren went off. Since we have only 15 seconds to get into the safe room or public shelter, I grabbed our dog and my family quickly went into our safe room. Within 20 seconds we heard a loud boom.

A safe room is a special room built in a house that is made with reinforced concrete and steel in between the walls. The outside walls are ten inches thick. In front of the window is a steel plate and the window closes to be air tight. The door is a very heavy door made of steel.

The Israel Home command recommends that we should stay in the safe room for five minutes from the time the siren rings or until we hear a boom. Sometimes Hamas send a cluster of rockets and they all land at the same time or the rocket is just going over Netivot and lands in another community.

That day, Hamas sent 100 kassams, grads and mortars to seam line communities along the Gaza border all the way to Ashkelon.

In Netivot, where I live, we had 4 sirens. Three kassams, one grad missile and one missile went over head.

One of the kassams landed in front of a children’s inside playground where they were having a Chanukah party. There weren’t any injuries only very frightened children.

Friday and Shabbat morning were relatively quiet.

Late Shabbat morning, we could hear jets in the distance.

At 11.30 a.m. just as we were sitting down for our Shabbat lunch the booming was unbelievable. For half an hour all we heard was boom, boom, boom. The windows and door rattled and the apartment shook. We knew the booming was coming from our jets. When you live in the Negev you become an expert on booming...what boom is from our jets and what boom are the terrorists attacking.

After lunch, I tried to lie down for my regular Shabbat afternoon nap, but that was not to be.

We spent the rest of Shabbat going in and out of our safe room. The air raid siren rang about nine or ten times. While husband was at Mincha, there was a siren and all of the men had to go into the stairwell of the shul. That was the only safe place.

In Netivot on Shabbat, the kassams made a direct hit on a house, landed in the shuk [outdoor market] and a man was struck and killed when he was standing outside. Other kassams landed in fields.

My daughter who lives five minutes from us had a kassam land in back of a house a few doors away from her. My grandchildren are having a hard time with the noise.

Sunday was mostly quiet in Netivot, but yesterday we received a couple of kassams. The first one was at lunchtime and it hit a house. The second attacked was at 11.50 p.m.

Although Netivot is on the receiving end on many rockets, the amount we have received is far less than other communities. Rockets are landing as far away as Ashdod.

On Tuesday late in the evening, I was in a very deep sleep, when the siren went off, my husband woke me up. Subconsciously, I walked into our safe room, I heard two booms and I went back to sleep. Scary........Am I getting used to the sirens and booms?

We have jets and helicopters over head all the time and the booming is another story.

As of yesterday, the military has designated the western Negev as a closed military zone. That means, only residents whose address on their Tuedat Zahut [identity card] says that they live in one of the communities can enter. Everyone else will be turned away.

All schools, kindergartens and day cares have been cancelled until further notice. Residents are told to only go out if necessary and know where the public shelters are. Many businesses are also closed.

Our brave IDF pilots are doing a magnificent job. Their accuracy is 98%. We certainly have the best air force in the world. We pray that they are successful in completing their missions and that everyone comes home safely.

May the Hand of Hashem guide our pilots and protect Am YISROEL!