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Southern Israel tries to dodge rockets from Gaza

Southern Israel tries to dodge rockets from Gaza
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It is the cities in southern Israel that are bearing the brunt of missiles launched by Palestinian militants.

At least five Grad rockets landed in Ashkelon on Sunday. The city is less than fifteen kilometres north of Gaza.

When the sirens sound, around one million Israelis living within 25 kilometres of Gaza run to their bomb shelters – that includes the people of Ashkelon.

However, the sirens do not always go off.

“The bomb alert didn’t sound but my dog felt something. He started becoming nervous and making noises. I thought maybe a Qassam rocket is coming and seconds after I heard a big explosion. The windows started to break, like everything in my home,” said one man whose fourth floor apartment in Ashkelon was hit.

Even closer to the border at less than two kilometres away from Gaza is Sderot. Many in the city consider it to be the frontline.

Israel’s Iron Dome batteries are meant to intercept the rockets being fired by Palestinian militants, but the missile defence system can not catch all of them.

The target of missile attacks for more than 10 years, it is not hard to understand why many living in Sderot want the Israeli military to carry out a ground offensive into Gaza.

From Sderot, our correspondent Luis Carballo said: “People living in southern Israel have blind faith in the Iron Dome anti-missile system, but its far from being perfect.”

Standing close to a damaged building, Carballo added: “When the batteries miss a rocket then this happens. This is part of the shrapnel from the second house to be hit by a Qassam rocket in this neighbourhood. The house is just 20 metres away from a school.”