Shock and feat in Beersheva...
They just missed...
Residents of Beersheba’s Heh neighborhood were still coping with shock on Wednesday morning, hours after a Grad rocket crashed into one of the neighborhood’s streets, scattering shrapnel in all directions and leaving one man wounded.
Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich cancelled school for the city’s pupils following the early-morning strike for safety reasons.
“We have 40,000 students going to school in the morning and we don’t know if there will be another strike.
The situation is too dangerous to take a risk,” Danilovich said Wednesday.
The mayor added that the city’s residents are “dealing with the situation, which is terror being directed at Beersheba and the South with the goal of harming innocent civilians. We can’t let ourselves get into some sort of routine where this happens every few weeks.”
Danilovich said he hopes “the government takes a stand and puts a stop to this,” but added that “we don’t want a war, we want there to be quiet for the residents of the South and for the residents of Gaza.”
People gathered near the site of the rocket strike, examining the damage done to the Saani home located only meters away from where the missile landed in the middle of the street. Several schoolchildren, let out of school for the day, walked around collecting ball bearings and other shrapnel that had been packed into the rocket to maximize its destructive power.
At the end of the block is an apartment building where one resident was lightly wounded by a piece of shrapnel that flew hundreds of meters, through his apartment blinds and into his third-floor apartment.
The roof and exterior gate of Mordechai Saani’s house was pockmarked with holes, and there was shattered glass all over. Ball bearings were still lodged in the interior cement walls in each of the house’s four rooms. In the kitchen, support beams had been placed to hold up the ceiling, which he said was now in danger of collapsing.
“We heard the alarm and grabbed the kids from their beds and took them to an interior room only moments before the missile struck and sprayed large rocks all over their beds. It was a miracle,” Saani said.
That a miracle had occurred was a common sentiment among residents of the neighborhood, the boyhood home of Vice Premier Silvan Shalom (Likud), whose childhood home is only a few dozen meters from where the missile struck.
The shockwaves from the strike blew out several windows of the Shimon Shalom Synagogue built by Shalom in honor of his late father, but the shattered glass was mostly cleared up by the afternoon.
Shimon Tsiboni, 33, said he was with a group of around 30 men who had started the morning service at the synagogue when the sirens went off and the worshipers began to scramble for cover.
“It was a serious miracle, look at where it struck, literally between two houses,” Tsiboni said. “Only a few meters this way or that and it would have killed everyone inside those houses.”