Editor’s note: The following is a personal account of the Jerusalem bombing that took place in Israel last week. The explosion happened 10 minutes away from the school she teaches in.
It’s 7:30 in the morning. I leave the house, lock the door and walk down to the bus stop in Jerusalem. I’m not late and the bus is on time. A few minutes later, I enter the school with time to prepare for the next lesson.
A good start to the day so far.
But the atmosphere in the teacher’s room is different. Sure there is the usual sipping (or gulping) of coffee and conversations about students and weather. But when I overhear one teacher remark that classes have been canceled in Ashdod, Israel’s fifth largest city, something’s amiss.
I soon learn that a Grad rocket fired from Gaza exploded on the coastal city during the night, prompting the decision to cancel school. It was the first time that the Israeli city of 200,000 residents was struck by a rocket in the past two years since Operation Cast Lead.
I enter my seventh grade English class, reworking my lesson to talk about the recent events. One student worriedly tells me she has family in Ashdod. “They’re scared and so am I, for them,” she says.
After the lesson, I go back to the teacher’s room. The news only gets worse.
Be’er Sheva, southern Israel’s largest city has also been struck. This time two Grad rockets exploded, one in a residential neighborhood, damaging a synagogue and several other buildings while a piece of shrapnel has penetrated an apartment and wounded a man. Countless people were sent into shock. Gaza’s Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Be’er Sheva’s mayor also decides to close the city’s schools for the day.
We Jerusalem teachers continue on regularly with lessons, as terror continues to strike at southern Israel. It is hard to believe that following a massive 50-rocket strike from Gaza on Israeli border communities this past weekend, the rocket terror continues to reach deeper into Israel, harming more civilians.
It is only after 3:00 p.m. when we first hear that tragedy has also struck our city.
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