Grad-type Katyusha rocket in Ashkelon
Grad-type Katyusha rocket in AshkelonIsrael News Photo: (Flash 90)

Residents of Kiryat Gat received pamphlets on Thursday from the municipality that explained what to do in the event of rocket attack from Gaza.

A Kiryat Gat security official said that the pamphlets were distributed in view of the current realistic scenarios of a Hamas response to a wide-range IDF operation in the Gaza Belt.

Kiryat Gat, Israel’s thirteenth largest city with a population of almost 48,000 residents, is located 27 miles north of Be'er Sheva and 35 miles south of Tel-Aviv. It is a mere 15 miles east of Gaza, potentially within range of Hamas rockets that have extended range capabilities.

Home Front Command recommended earlier in the week that every community located up to 40 kilometers from Gaza be connected to the Color Red incoming missile alert system.

Security officials told Cabinet ministers earlier this week that Gaza terrorists currently possess missiles with ranges capable of reaching as far as Be'er Sheva, as well as Ashdod, Gedera and Yavne.

A statement issued by the Hamas terrorist organization, which has retained control over the region, warned on Wednesday, "Any decision to attack the Gaza Strip will open the gates of hell, and we will make you regret your stupidity with tears of blood."

The communiqué threatened that its fighters would "put thousands more Zionists in the line of fire" by extending its attacks beyond southern cities like Ashkelon.

'G-d Knows Where We Live'

Kiryat Gat, home to a large Chassidic population, also hosts several yeshivot and is a hub for the hareidi religious bus system in the south.

The city serves as the half-way point on bus routes that connect the far-flung northern Negev city of Arad with Bnei Brak, Ashdod and Jerusalem.

Upon hearing that Kiryat Gat has joined the list of communities that have come within range of Gaza rocket attacks, a few regular riders on the hareidi religious bus line expressed concern on Thursday, but most just shrugged.

"We have to make an effort and do what we're supposed to do, yes, that's true," acknowledged Eli J. "We build shelters and we take cover if we need to. But other than that, I am not going to worry." He smiled. "It's in G-d's Hands. He knows where we live."