Friday, August 31, 2012

Multi-rocket attack and Israeli kids return to fortress high school

31 August '12..

First a quick look at this morning's latest from This Ongoing War:

Multi-rocket attack on southern Israel at 6 this morning

A number of Gazan rockets were fired in the western Negev region of southern Israel around 6 this morning (Friday) after the Tzeva Adom incoming missile warning system sounded throughout the area. Initial reports say a residence in the beleagured city of Sderot took a direct hit [source], while another Gazan rocket crashed an exploded in open fields on the edge of Sderot. The home struck this morning has been hit before; the owner is interviewed in Haaretz.

The Islamist Hamas regime that controls Gaza has waged open rocket warfare - directed explicitly at Israeli civilians - for several years. The tally of terrorist rockets (which we track via the Challah Hu Akbar counter on the right of this page) is astonishing to anyone not aware of the frequency of the attacks. So is the apathy of the international organs who look on in silence.

And of course the natural consequence of this is the following from the AP (The Australian News):

Israeli kids return to fortress high school

FOR the first time in years, the children of the Israeli town of Sderot can study in peace.

Living under a constant threat of rocket fire from militants in the nearby Gaza Strip, their schooldays were often interrupted by mad dashes to bomb shelters. But yesterday, they started the school year safe from attack in a new, fortified, rocket-proof school building.

The $US27.5 million ($26.5m) structure features concrete walls, reinforced windows and a unique architectural plan all designed specifically to absorb and deflect rocket fire. Notices on the walls of the "Shaar Hanegev" High School remind the 1200 students of their new reality: in case of a warning siren, it reads, stay put.

"You can finally teach without constantly worrying about what to do when there is a rocket attack," said Zohar Nir-Levi, the principal of the junior high school inside the complex. "You can concentrate on your studies. It used to be that even before you said 'hello' in the morning you were telling people where to run."

In the 12 years since rockets began raining down on Sderot, less than 2km from Gaza, residents say life has often been unbearable. Eight people have been killed, hundreds wounded and nearly everyone in the working-class town of about 24,000 has been traumatised by the frequent wail of sirens and explosions.

Schools were often shut for periods during this time, with parents fearing for the safety of their children. Psychologists treated many kids for trauma. In one memorable incident, a rocket hit an empty school, sparking demands for better protection.

The rocket fire has subsided considerably in the past three years, since Israel carried out a fierce three-week offensive against Gaza militants in which about 1400 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, were killed. Gaza's Hamas rulers have largely halted their rocket fire at Israel since then, though smaller armed groups continue to stage attacks.

The Israeli military says about 440 rockets have been fired so far this year. Two rockets fell in the area yesterday, following a similar barrage a day earlier. No one was hurt.

The new school, built on a sprawling campus, took two years to plan and then two more years to construct. Each grade has its own colour-coded building, with colourful tiles lining the floors. It features concrete shelters in the school yard as well, to allow students on recess to find cover in the 15-second window they have between the sound of the siren and the landing of the rocket. A science lab and an auto shop are fortified. Even the angles of the buildings are specially built to deflect incoming projectiles.

Michael Spitzer, an 11th grader, said the protection of the building made him less concerned about his younger sister, who also studied there and his mother, a teacher. "I don't have to worry about them any more," he said. "I can just focus on school and not all the other stuff."

The Israeli President Shimon Peres attended the school's grand opening yesterday and praised the children's resolve.

"I see here a wonderful and strong stance in the face of rockets," he said, seated in a ninth-grade classroom. "This fortified school inaugurated today is the least that can be done for you."

Isn't this how everyone takes care of a problem like this?

Updates throughout the day at If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment