A journey to Israel’s missile-scarred southern cities

06.10.2011                      09.Cheschwan. 5772

Süd-Israel Besuch:

A journey to Israel's missile-scarred southern cities

Two days after rockets were fired at Ashdod, Ashkelon and Gan Yavne from the Gaza Strip, quiet and equanimity are apparent in all the places that were hit.

There is something touching about the note written on a scrap of paper that is carelessly pinned to the bulletin board of an apartment building in Ashdod. The handwriting is awkward and there are childish spelling mistakes. The note reads: "Shalom to the tenants. I lost the keys of the Peugeot car in your building during the fall of the Grad. If anyone found them, let him please call my phone."
A row of burnt cars stretches across the scorched parking area, wrapped in plastic and adorned with Israel Police ribbons, as though they are surprise gifts. Two days after the Grad missiles struck, employees of Window and Door – which does glass and aluminum work – and of Shai's Shutters are busy taking apart all the windows on the facade of this seven-story apartment building. Window after window – each one was smashed to smithereens. An acrid smell still hangs in the air. On a small first-floor balcony, a bent and shrunken old man is arranging chairs that were overturned by the force of the blast. We knock on his door – and he opens it and slams it in our faces. This is not the time for uninvited guests….