UPDATE 1 pm Israeli time Monday:
Please note that the updated number of terrorist missiles and mortars that have struck the border communities of southern Israel today currently stands at “more than” 55.
UPDATE 8 am Israel time Monday (and) TODAY’S BLOG:
At around 6:00 am (two hours ago), the men, women, and children of the Gaza border communities of southern Israel–in the vicinity of Sderot–were awakened and sent running to their bomb shelters by the first of what have been numerous barrages of mortars fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. “Minor” physical injuries have been reported, numerous people have been treated for emotional trauma, and homes have been damaged.
As of this moment, more than 40 mortars have exploded. As you can see in the israelstreet column on the right, this brings to 1014 the total number of terrorist rockets and mortars that have attempted to kill southern Israelis since January 20th of this year–a rate of 4 per day.
And remember that this number is under-reported. As israelstreet has noted many times in the past, the IDF and Israeli government deliberately do not report the extent of the attacks on southern Israel.
This past weekend the Jerusalem Post published a report “Dealing With Trauma” (written by Marina Choikhet) about the disastrous situation here in the south focusing on Sderot. Here is some information from that report (emphasis mine):
“Empirical research conducted by NATAL, the Israel Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War . . . shows that approximately 10 percent of the Israeli population displays symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the south, with the cities of Sderot, Ofakim, Ashkelon, Beersheba and Ashdod that for over a decade have been subject to constant bombardment, one in three residents experiences post-traumatic stress on a daily basis.”
*6400 residents of Sderot and surrounding areas receive professional care for PTSD at municipal mental health centers in Sderot [your humble servants adds that Sderot has a total population of around 24,000 which has been declining during the last decade of rocket and mortar attacks]
*71% of Sderot children suffer from at least one symptom of PTSD such as emotional exhaustion, flashbacks, the feeling of constant fear, and nightmares
*20% of Sderot children display all the symptoms of PTSD– with 12% of Sderot children having severe trouble functioning”
Choikhet quotes a single mother of three in Sderot whose experience is “normal”:
“My two younger children refuse to leave the house. They have problems concentrating, they don’t want to go to school and are afraid even to go to the bathroom alone or take showers by themselves.”
As Choikhet points out:
“Such children are always extremely alert, ready for danger, and every little noise shakes them up. Because of the ongoing aggression by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, whose goals are to murder and destroy, these children are forced to spend more time in bomb shelters than [on] playgrounds. They don’t want to play, but rather withdraw inside themselves and refuse to maintain any contact with their existing environment.”
Regular readers of this blog are undoubtedly tired of hearing me say this, but your humble servant simply cannot understand how the Israeli government tolerates this situation. How can any self-respecting government allow its citizens to live in the conditions of those in southern Israel?
The simple fact is that no other government in the world does.
When Sderot is now regularly described in the international media as “the most heavily bombed city in the world”, it is an indictment of Israeli government policy and an everlasting mark of shame on this country’s leadership.
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