Photo Credit: Mendy Rizel
Rocket impact damage to Chabad yeshiva building in Sderot

The Israel Defense Force has confirmed that a rocket launched by terrorists in Gaza landed directly on the Sderot Hesder yeshiva building / Chabad House in the southern Israeli city of Sderot just a few minutes before 9 pm on Thursday night.

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Miraculously, there were no casualties reported at the yeshiva, even though the building itself was damaged.

The building, which houses the Sderot Hesder Yeshiva and a Chabad House, was mostly empty at the time because the students had left a just short while earlier for the weekend Shabbat break.

However, in the Hesder yeshiva, a few students had remained and were in the building learning at the time the rocket slammed into the building.

Rabbi Shlomo Binyamin, head of the Lev Ladaat Yeshiva, told Channel 12 News, “The rocket hit six meters from the three students who were in the yeshiva; 10 minutes earlier there were 15 students there for the Ma’ariv prayer.”

The Red Alert incoming rocket alert siren activated in the city barely 15 seconds before the rocket slammed into the building. Hundreds of residents in Sderot and other communities in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council district were sent racing for bomb shelters.

Asher Pizam, who was in the area when the rocket struck, told Channel 13 News: “We were in a weekly lesson when we heard the Red Alert siren and then a huge explosion. We went out and saw a lot of damage was done to the place. It’s incredibly scary. Things cannot go on like this.”

The attack followed another round of rocket fire aimed at the region from Gaza by less than 24 hours.

An IDF soldier who was in the study hall near where the rocket hit told the press about his experience:

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.