For Southern Israel, Start of School Is Start of ‘Rocket Season’
As the school year got underway for more than two million Israeli students across the country on Monday, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in open territory in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council in southern Israel—midway between Beersheba and Ashkelon—causing no damage.
President Shimon Peres visited a fortified high school in Sha’ar Hanegev on Monday.
“Facing the threat of rockets, you have shown steadfastness in learning, achievements, and creativity,” Peres told students. “The state of Israel is proud of you.”
Monday’s rocket attack came just a day after three Qassam rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza on Sunday. The first rocket exploded on the grounds of a factory in the industrial area of Sha’ar Hanegev, while the second rocket exploded in an agricultural factory. The third rocket was located by a police bomb squad in an open field.
“The school year is opening today,” said Shani Cohen, a mother of three from Sha’ar Hanegev. “I have three small children in preschool and elementary school. I can’t say I’m calm and relaxed when I know Hamas could, at any moment, remind us of its existence by firing rockets. It’s true that the schools themselves are fortified, but having [the children] actually reach the schools is enough to worry me. Yesterday’s shooting was only the beginning of ‘rocket season,’” she said.
“We will not give them the satisfaction of disrupting the new school year,” said Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council Head Alon Schuster. “Most of the education and public buildings in the council are fortified, including the new high school that will be inaugurated today.”