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Dodging Missiles & My Trip To Sderot

By Tamar Yonah
5/22/2007, 12:00 AM
Ok, so I was in Sderot today. My daughter was worried, my parents didn't know, and my husband gave me a blessing for safety. But this is something I wanted to do.
While speaking to random people in Sderot, I asked them, "What is the solution?"


I went with two people I have the pleasure to work with, Yishai Fleisher and Ezra HaLevi. I had finished my morning show and was leaving the station when Yishai was coming up the walk and we briefly spoke and he mentioned he was going to Sderot in a little while, and asked if I wanted to come. I actually did. I actually jumped at the chance.

I was supposed to go down to Sderot with my husband to bring a bullet proof vest and helmet to Shlomo Wollins but couldn’t do it this week because the Shavuot holiday was coming up and we would both be very busy. So I arranged for my husband to get the gear and drop it off with Shlomo when he came in to Jerusalem for the afternoon.
Sderot afternoon
T. Yonah


But fate had it that I come down with Yishai to Sderot anyway, and do a show. The city was a bit empty. Many stores were closed and just a few people peppered the landscape. We interviewed the residents as well as a very brave 11 year old girl. No red alerts came during the two hour show, yet afterwards when visiting with Shlomo Wollins, the missiles started coming. “TZEVA ADOM, TZEVA ADOM” (color red) – which is basically ‘red alert’ came over the loud speakers of the city. I was picking some notes on the guitar in the living room when the alert came on. Yishai, Shlomo and Ezra all left the living room area and told me to come to the sealed room which is a bomb shelter.


After a brief moment, I heard outside a giant THUD, but it was far away and I was not alarmed.

After this, we went out and Shlomo showed us a few other places that were recently hit by the kassam rockets that the Arabs were launching against this suburban city.

Sderot - Kassam hit
T. Yonah
kassam hit on roof top in Sderot
T. Yonah

This Kassam hit the roof top and plunged into the bathroom of a neighbor of Shlomo's as she was taking a shower. (See roof damage above). She was hospitalized and the home was abandoned by the family, and has someone watching it now as the owner comes and goes. To see this house actually get hit, watch this video.

Schools have had to have re-enforced walls and roofs as well.  Notice this newer, outer wall added on to this school in Sderot.

 
Re-enforced School in Sderot
T. Yonah
 
 
It makes one enraged that all this is happening, and our government sits on its hands.
While speaking to random people in Sderot, I asked them, "What is the solution?" Most of them shrugged and said that Olmert should quit, and that we should make the Arabs in Gaza be afraid of attacking us. Others said that Israel should shut their electricity and water. Only one man who owned a small food shop said that we should go and clean up Gaza and throw the enemies of Israel out. Only one. When I suggested this possible solution to another store owner, he replied, "Well, yes, that would be the best thing to do." So I said to him, then why didn't you arrive at that answer yourself and tell me that this is the best solution? He replied, "Well, because 'that' solution will never happen. Our government won't do it."


Before leaving Sderot, I thought of the hardships these people were suffering. I told the residents we spoke with that we were from YESHA, and that we were praying for them everyday.

We left Sderot around 7:30pm. Soon after, another barrage of missiles rained down on Sderot. A woman, approx. 35 years old was killed when she was taking cover near her car. This happened at about 8:00pm. – Only one half hour after we left for home.

And then I remembered. I too, had been thru something like this before – dodging missiles. I was also under threat of missile attack during the scud war with Saddam Hussein back in 1991. We would get the alarms, loud sirens would go off and we would have to hurry to our sealed rooms and put on a gas mask. Infants were too young to wear gas masks. Instead, I had to put my baby daughter in a small, sealed, clear plastic tent which she would never want to go into. She screamed and cried and kicked until I just had to hold her and have a syringe of atropine ready to shove into her thigh if we got hit by the missile which was suspected to be bearing poison gas or germ (biological) war fare. This was our present then, from the Arab nations, courtesy of the guy with the big moustache. They’ve since hanged him.

And yet, life goes on.

Bride &Groom in Sderot
T. Yonah

On the way out of the city, a car carrying a bride and groom stopped alongside our car. We traded a few ‘mazal tovs’ and they showed us, as Yishai said, that they are still alive, still optimistic, and still going on with LIFE.