'Daddy, the house exploded!'

Grad hits Gedera for the first time, lightly injuring baby.

January 6, 2009 23:11
2 minute read.


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The normally sleepy town of Gedera was brutally dragged into the Gaza operation on Tuesday morning, when a Hamas Grad missile struck the community for the first time. A baby girl suffered minor cuts to her forehead, and a dog was killed in the rocket attack, which caused extensive damage to surrounding homes and infrastructure. The rocket sprayed metal balls and shrapnel into the walls of homes. A deep crater scarred the sidewalk where it fell. Residents fled into safe rooms and bomb shelters upon hearing the air-raid siren, a response they said ensured no people were killed. "I was driving when my 12-year-old daughter called," said an emotional Avital Kidron, as he swept up pieces of shrapnel from his front yard. "There is no school so she was home. She told me, 'Daddy the house blew up!" Kidron's stepson, Ro'ee, aged 12, described finding his two-year-old dog dead outside of his home, with a piece of shrapnel lodged in its stomach. "I saw her lying in a pool of blood. She was dead," he said. "It was shocking." Kidron said he was amazed by the lightening response of the Gedera Municipality. "Within minutes, my daughter was whisked away to a psychologist to make sure she was all right. The electric pole has already been replaced," he said, pointing to a new pole and electric cables installed near his home. "We have to be brave for those fighting in Gaza. This is not a passing episode, it is our life. We are all soldiers," Kidron said. "In Israel, there is no difference between the home front and the front line. We're all on the front line." Dor Ben-Mordechai, 23, described hearing an enormous explosion when the rocket landed. "Our house actually moved," he said. "Glass was everywhere. "I always laughed when we drilled going into the safe room, which is my bedroom in the house. Gedera is usually a quiet place. But now we have a new reality," he said. Gedera's small command and control room at the municipality was staffed with Home Front Command soldiers and city officials, including Shlomi Meidani, head of the security department. "It was only a matter of time before this would happen," Meidani said, echoing a popular sentiment in Gedera. "We have 30 public bomb shelters and 50-60 private shelters in buildings," he added. "Today an exercise was planned for a rocket attack. We ended up tackling the real thing." Meidani said he was generally pleased with the response by emergency officials and the municipality.

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