The children of Sderot will soon be able to run for cover from rocket attacks, even on the playground. The new bomb shelter will look playful, however.
The city is in the final stages of building a playground that includes a tunnel for a quick escape from Kassam rocket barrages, reports the Sderot Media Center (SMC).
According to construction manager Boaz Etzion, “The idea of the park is that when there is a Color Red [incoming rocket] alarm, the children can run quickly to safety in the tunnels.”
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The park, which is funded by private donations, is scheduled to be open next month and will include lights and a fountain.
The escape tunnel, at a cost of 150,000 shekels ($46,000) is being built in the shape of a centipede to make it appear to be part of the playground and not like a bomb shelter.
According to the most recent Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) report, there are 3,578 students in the western Negev city of Sderot. Between 70 and 94 percent of the city’s children show signs of suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of the constant rocket fire, according to SMC.
More than 4,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel since the Disengagement of August 2005, in which every Jewish town in the Gush Katif region was destroyed and all Jewish residents were expelled from their homes by the government.