RESIDENTS of the Israeli border town of Sderot were in fear this week after a terror rocket fired from Gaza — a Hamas response to Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement — landed in the play area of a kindergarten.
One father who sends his child to the pre-school told Israeli TV of the moment he froze on hearing that a missile had landed in the playground.
“My whole body started to shake,” he said. “The entire play area was damaged. The slide, playground equipment, wheelbarrows . . . just broke into pieces. It’s scary when it is in your backyard.”
The rocket damaged the nursery building — hours after young children might have been playing there.
It was one of several missiles fired at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip on Friday night.
One of them left a deep gaping hole in Halutz Street in Sderot — less then a mile from the Gaza border — causing some Israelis to suffer anxiety attacks.
A third incoming rocket was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence battery.
Israeli jets hit back with strikes on Friday on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip . . . and more strikes on Monday after further rockets fell in open areas.
Two Hamas gunmen were killed when a base in Nuseirat was targeted and 25 Palestinians were reported to have been wounded in an Israeli strike on a Hamas training compound and weapons cache.
Moria Ashurov, a mother of two small children, who lives across the road from the kindergarten, said: “We heard the siren before the rocket hit.
“This was not a regular Kassam rocket. It looked like it was made from [Israeli] military parts. There was a Hebrew letter on it and it was a lot smaller. “
She said she did not go to work on Sunday because she feared another rocket attack.
“For myself, I’m not afraid, but I worry about my children,” said Mrs Ashurov.
“They play out here in the courtyard all the time. It’s such a hard situation. But I would never leave — I was born here, my life is here.”
Another female resident of Sderot told the website Ynet: “There was an immense explosion. I heard glass shattering and then car alarms.
“The walls of my house shook. I didn't dare leave the shelter. Now the entire street's closed off and police and bomb squad technicians are everywhere.
“Ambulances are parked in front of my house and paramedics are looking for anyone who might have been hurt.”
An Israeli army spokesman said: “The IDF considers Hamas exclusively responsible for any fire emanating from Gaza.”
Major General Yoav Mordechai, the military liaison to the Palestinians, said that “irresponsible” terror groups are seeking an escalation with Israel, and warned Gazans that they will be the ones who end up paying the price.