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Southern Israel Returns to Routine, and Rocket Attacks

Southern Israeli parents and children returned from Chanukah vacation to their daily routine of school, work -- and racing from rockets.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 12/29/2011, 10:14 AM

Parents and school children in southern Israel returned from Chanukah vacation Thursday morning to their normal daily routine of traveling to work, walking to school -- and racing to safety from rocket attacks after hearing the sounds of the Color Red rocket alert siren.

The first attack of the day, a short-range Qassam fired as usual by Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists in Gaza, was aimed at the Jewish communities in the Eshkol Regional Council district.

It exploded in an open area at about 7:35 a.m., just as children should have been walking to school, and their parents heading off to work.

Instead, they were racing to safe rooms and bomb shelters, and waiting for the "all clear" to let them know whether security forces had figured out where the missile had landed, and whether any more were on the way.

No physical injuries or property damage was reported in the early morning attack, although the blare of the Color Red siren triggered trauma responses in those who suffer from anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to past attacks.

Yesterday a Qassam rocket failed to explode upon reaching its destination in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council district. Similar rocket fire was reported Sunday and Monday, as well as over the Sabbath and a number of days last week.

Such attacks have again become the near-daily affairs that led to the three-week Cast Lead counter terrorism mini war against the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza, launched three years ago this week.

Although the IDF responds to each and every attack with retaliatory air strikes, there appears to be little that Israel can do to stem the terrorist rocket fire, possibly due to international diplomatic constraints. Meanwhile, the danger is escalating; last week the Palestinian Authority's rival Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist factions signed an historic agreement in Cairo to unite under the banner of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).