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Under siege: Sderot woman invites news crew for meal

A news crew covering the rocket attacks on the southern city of Sderot received a pleasant surprise when an elderly resident of the city invited them to a home-cooked meal live on television.

The woman was watching Channel 12 News when she noticed that the news crew was standing outside her home. Using a balloon, she got the crew’s attention and refused to let them leave until they had sat down for the meal she had prepared.

About 400 rockets were fired at southern Israel by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization on Tuesday and Wednesday, injuring dozens of people and damaging multiple buildings in Sderot.

A bomb shelter serving as an installation in a children’s playground. michaelwrose/Flickr

Parts of Sderot are too close to Gaza to be protected by the Iron Dome; 10-15 seconds does not give time for today’s technology to intercept the rockets.

The remnants of Qassam rockets fired on Sderot

Sderot is located less than a mile from Gaza (the closest point is 840 m), and is notable for having been a major target of Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

The Ashkelon–Beersheba railway, a new railway line which connected Sderot with Tel Aviv and Beersheba, was inaugurated in December 24, 2013. The Sderot railway station located on the outskirts of the city at the southern entrance it is the first in Israel to be armored against rocket fire.

”Sderot cinema” is a name given to gatherings at a hill in Sderot, where over 50 locals would come to watch the fighting in the Gaza strip during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, cheering when bombs would strike. The name was coined by a Danish journalist who snapped a photo of it and posted it on Twitter. Similar events happened in Operation Cast Lead in 2009, after which some critics decided to refer to the hill as “Hill of Shame”.

Sderot residents have complained about the media portrayal. Marc Goldberg noted in The Times of Israel that “it shouldn’t surprise anyone that after suffering a huge amount of shelling over the course of several years, they are cheering the IDF attacking the weapons that have been turned on them.”