In Sderot the Israeli city just one mile from its border with Gaza, the spectre of renewed conflict looms extremely close. In the ten days since Hamas and Israel began exchanging fire 600 rockets have reportedly landed in the area.
The city’s some 24,000 inhabitants are perhaps more used used to the site of mortar and rocket fire than most, since 2001 over 10,000 such weapons are thought to have fallen on the city.
But those who have grown up in the area are still hopeful that a peaceful solution will be found. Speaking to euronews one resident, Ohad Peretz, remembers a time of peaceful coexistence:
“When I was a kid the border between Sderot and Gaza was open. My first bicycle was bought in Gaza. People from Gaza were coming here to work, there was a lot of friendship over here. We in Sderot, the older people, we know that this can be a reality.”
From a vantage point in Sderot locals can see Gaza and have a direct view of the unfolding conflict. One man watching events carefully at the site, spoke to euronews:
“We came to see the Iron Dome intercept the rockets so nothing will hurt the people. we want to live in peace with them, but we want the rockets to stop and citizens to stop suffering.”