Rocket launches plague Israelis

People at U of I as well as around the US should be informed of the extreme conditions that many people in Israel, an ally of the US and the only real democracy in the Middle East, need to go through on a daily basis.

While in Israel with the Hasbara Fellowships organization this summer, we visited Sderot. It is a small town of 20,000 that is less than one mile from the Gaza Strip. What most people do not know is that this town has been plagued with more than 7,000 Kassam rockets that have been launched from the Gaza Strip since 2001. They’re launched in part because of aggressive Hamas leadership in Gaza.

All over this city there are bomb shelters colored with drawings so that it would allow the kids to be more at ease while they are hiding.

The reason why it is hard for the Israeli government to retaliate back at Gaza is because these rockets are launched from places, like hospitals and malls, that have many civilians.

There are antennas in the proximity of this area that have heat-activated sensors that detect Kassam rockets. When they do detect a launch, there are sirens that go off. The people of this town have 15 seconds to seek refuge.

While I was visiting this city, if I did not know anything about the rocket launches, then I would think that it was just as peaceful as any small city in the US. Unfortunately, many people living in this city, as well others in the region, have no choice but to reside there due to economic difficulties and because it is nearly impossible to sell their property.

This is primarily due to terrorist leadership in Gaza.