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Yael Levi, 34: 'I don’t sleep at night because I am afraid for my children”'

Yael Levi on a bus with her children Sderot, OPT/Israel, May 2007. She says she would like to leave Sderot, the target of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, for the sake of her children.
(Tom Spender/IRIN)

Yael Levi, 34, a resident of Sderot in Israel, narrates her suffering because of recent attacks from the Gaza Strip: “I’m very sad and very afraid because of the Qassam rocket attacks from Gaza. I feel very lonely in Sderot because the city is not protecting us. Our children are afraid - they are crying and saying they want to leave.

“Last night we didn’t have any electricity because the rockets landed behind our home at 11pm and knocked out the supply. They made a sound that was so loud and forceful we thought the house had been hit.

“We have a bomb shelter in our house and when the warning is broadcast from the loudspeakers - it says Seva Adom, which means Colour Red in Hebrew - I scream to my four kids to Go Go Go! We only have 15 seconds maximum from when the alarm sounds to when the rocket hits.

“My two younger children have nightmares. They don’t want to go to school because the school doesn’t have a bomb shelter. They are even afraid to go to the shop around the corner from our house with their friends.

''My two younger children have nightmares. They don’t want to go to school because the school doesn’t have a bomb shelter. They are even afraid to go to the shop around the corner from our house with their friends''

“Last November I broke my leg when I fell while running during a rocket alarm. I lay in bed for 45 days afterwards with my leg in plaster and now I have a permanent limp.

“The rockets have been falling on our town for the last seven years. Nothing has been done because they are still falling now.

“I find it impossible to sleep at night because I am always thinking maybe a rocket will come now and I will have to wake up the kids. I take sleeping pills to relax.

“Now we are leaving for some time on these buses. I don’t know how long we will be away but we will take as much time as they give us. I love Sderot very much and I grew up here so I don’t want to leave. But I would leave for my children.

“We don’t want to fight with the Palestinians but they are trying to kill us. They don’t want peace. We were happy for them to work with us here in the town but if we were to go to the Gaza Strip I feel they would slit our throats.”

ts/cb


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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