Four rockets were fired at Israel out of Gaza Thursday morning, as red alert sirens rang out in south, breaking a tense several month calm in the area.
One of the Kassam rockets landed in a residential courtyard in Sderot, causing no injuries but some damage to the home of the Hazizu family. Another landed in an open area in the Sha’ar Hanegev area with no reported injures or damage, and two more landed within the Strip, near the fence with Israel, according to initial reports.
“[President Barack] Obama should come and see how we live here,” said Sara Hazizu on Army Radio. “We live in nice homes, but that means nothing. Really, we live in our security rooms. He should see how our 8-year-old daughter has to dash for the safety of the security room [when the rocket alarms go off].”
“The fire this morning is a letter from the Gazan organizations to the President of the United States,” said Sderot Mayor David Buskila, adding that it was probably a “one-time event.”
“I think they are trying to tell him that he can make agreements with [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas, but they set the tone,” Buskila said.
Security sources in Jerusalem agreed that the rocket fire was “a message timed [by Gaza terror groups] for Obama’s visit to show they’re still there.” The sources did not believe Hamas was responsible, and said they thought it unlikely Israel would respond, certainly not while Obama is here.
Last month, a rocket was fired from Gaza on Ashdod, landing in an open area, the first such incident since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in November.
The rockets came hours before Obama was due to visit Ramallah as part of his three-day visit to Israel and the PA.
On Wednesday, Obama visited an Iron Dome anti-missile battery at Ben-Gurion airport upon landing in Israel. The battery, which was key in shooting down missiles over Sderot and other towns near Gaza during Pillar of Defense, was brought to the airport to allow the president to be photographed with it.
The system was built largely with American funding.