With school cancelled due to the security situation, approximately 30,000 children in Ashkelon have little to occupy themselves with except to wait out the rocket strikes from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups in Gaza. “Our family wants to move to Petach Tikvah until the rocket attacks are over,” said Eden. “We have family there and it would be safer.”
For many Ashkelon children, the Iron Dome, which intercepts long-distance rockets with much more precision than short-distance rockets (like those fired at Sderot) has instilled a sense of security.
According to Dr. Asher Solomon, the Deputy Director of Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center, more than 70% of Ashkelon’s kids will not be psychologically affected for the long-term because of the rocket attacks. However, according to Solomon in an interview on Jewish News One, 30% of Ashkelon children will show signs of PTSD.
Even for children and teenagers who haven’t experienced a rocket attack in cities like Jerusalem, the experience of a rocket siren can be frightening. Four rockets have been fired towards the capital of Israel in the past five days, and all have landed south outside of the city.
Ya’arit, a ninth grader in a Jerusalem school told Tazpit News Agency, that the siren alert on Friday evening, November 16, caught her and her mother as they were driving. “It was scary, because we didn’t know what to do,” she said. Other students described hearing the sirens blaring across Jerusalem, as stressful, and for others still, exciting.
But for six and half year old Dvir in southern Israel, the rockets spawn one main terror. According to his mom, Dvir recently told her that he fears he will never grow old.