Sderot Marks Seven Years of Kassams

Ad Feedback - SDEROT, Israel - On Tuesday, residents of the southern Israeli city of Sderot will mark seven years of living under the daily threat of Kassam rocket attacks.

Since 2001, Gaza-based Palestinian have fired some 10,000 Kassam rockets at Sderot, according to statistics provided by The Israel Project, an international nonprofit organization that provides information to the media.

Over the past seven years, 22 Israeli civilians have been killed by rockets, including eight residents of the former Gush Katif Settlement Bloc in the Gaza Strip.

Tuesday's program, organized by Shatil, the New Israel Fund's field unit, will take place in one of the city's few fortified buildings.

"If a Color Red [warning] siren goes off while people are inside, the building is fortified [so] it won't be a problem, said Shira Eitan. "But if it goes off while people are arriving, they'll have to hurry inside quickly," she said.

Eitan said Shatil plans to write a comprehensive report of Tuesday's event, highlighted by personal testimonies of life under the daily threat of rocket attacks.

The goal is to move Israel's government to act responsibly toward this segment of the population.

"Until now, Sderot has been portrayed [in] a specific way in the media," Eitan said. "The people living there are shown as either worthy of pity or heroes," she said.

"We're trying to bring a different message, one that explores the social and human rights of the city's residents because these people are citizens of Israel and they have rights just like anyone else," she said.

"This is the first time that residents of Sderot can give their accounts, their testimony of what life is like in Sderot," Eitan said. "It's not that we're poor, unfortunate souls who need to be taken care of. No! We live here and we want to continue living here, with respect," she said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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