It could have ended so much worse. A Palestinian Grad rocket crashed into the
roof of an eight-story building on Sunday afternoon in Ashdod, entering the
elevator shaft and descending to the fifth floor, where it exploded.
Front Command officials and police inspected the scene of the wreckage on the
roof, scarred by a gaping hole and scattered debris.
“I heard an enormous
explosion,” said Gabi Klonkie, 30, who lives two buildings away. “I knew it was
close when I saw people running in the street afterwards.
There was smell
of something burning. Then the ambulances rushed in,” he recalled. “It was
The building’s residents all loyally followed the Home Front
Command’s instructions and sought cover in reinforced safe rooms when the air
raid siren sounded. The instructions saved lives; two people were lightly
injured, and 30 were treated for shock.
“The majority of people took
cover, listening to the safety instructions,” said police spokesman Micky
Rosenfeld, as he toured the scene of the damage. “The rockets came in
succession, one after the other,” he added.
Outside, the Ashdod
Municipality set up a tent and a desk for locals to seek help and advise. It was
one of many rapid response actions developed by the city as it has become
accustomed to living under the Palestinian rocket menace.
A total of
three rockets exploded in the Ashdod area that day, as streets remained largely
deserted, and roads near empty. The city has been in practical lockdown since
the start of the operation in Gaza on Wednesday.
“We’ve gotten used to
it,” said one resident, who has taken to sleeping in safe rooms with his
“Our children are very frightened. I can see the fear in them,”