An Ashkelon man kept a live Grad rocket in his house for two days before police sappers came to his residence on Saturday night and neutralized the potentially deadly explosive souvenir.

Lachish subdistrict police said the man found the unexploded warhead in an open field in the city last Thursday, and took it home where he kept it in his house with his wife and kids, a decision that could have ended in tragedy.

The warhead was found by police after a local police bomb squad officer was told during a neighborhood soccer game that one of the team’s players took home a piece of a rocket he found. The officer reportedly told him about the danger inherent in keeping several kilograms of live ordnance in his home and then notified police, who sent a bomb squad unit over the next day to perform a controlled detonation of the rocket remnant.

Police said the man also allowed his children to play with the warhead in the family house.

Police on Sunday put out a statement in which they repeated the call for the public not to handle or approach any rocket fragments they may find, and to immediately call local police for assistance.

Just this past month during Operation Pillar of Defense and in the week previous, hundreds of rockets and mortars landed in open areas of southern and central Israel, and not all of them are believed to have detonated on impact.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger