As U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Monday evening with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, residents of southern Israel were forced to grab their children, snatching them as they slept in order to race for safe rooms and bomb shelters.
The first scream of the Color Red incoming rocket alert came at about 9:30 p.m., long after little ones had been put to bed, but early enough that older children were still awake to hear the siren.
Fifteen seconds later, a short-range Qassam rocket fired by Palestinian Authority terrorists in Hamas-ruled Gaza exploded somewhere in the western Negev. It took some time for security personnel to locate the site where the rocket exploded.
Israelis already know they must stay put in the shelters for at least 10 minutes after impact, to make sure the first rocket is not immediately being followed by more.
As IDF soldiers searched for the rocket's landing site, parents strove to calm their children and each other, working to minimize trauma symptoms triggered by the attack. Authorities said there were no reports of physical injuries or property damage.
One hour later, a second attack was launched, this one against the city of Sderot. The rocket exploded in a field near the outskirts of the city. No physical injuries were reported, and no property was damaged.