Fragment from Gaza rocket interception crashes into kids’ paddling pool in Sderot

Family heard bang as missile hit roof of their home, then fell into yard; mom says emotional harm more difficult to overcome than physical damage, vows not to leave border town

A rocket fragment that hit a home in Sdeort, July 5, 2023. (Sderot Municipality. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A rocket fragment that hit a home in Sdeort, July 5, 2023. (Sderot Municipality. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A large fragment from a rocket hit a home in Sderot in the early hours of Wednesday morning, crashing into a children’s paddling pool in the yard as the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a volley fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip.

There were no injuries, but the fragment damaged the roof of the home as well as the pool.

Neta Ohayon told Channel 12 she heard the bang as the rocket parts hit her family’s home, but only realized what had happened when she went outside as it got light.

Ohayon said that when the rocket warning sirens went off in Sderot she, her husband and their sleeping four-year-old twins, did not have time to reach their reinforced shelter room before they heard the detonations from the first Iron Dome interceptions.

“One of the booms was very loud, and that was in fact a large fragment that hit the roof of the house and immediately fell into the paddling pool and caused the damage,” she said.

“We didn’t know that our home was hit,” she said.

It was not immediately clear if the fragment was from an incoming rocket or was part of an Iron Dome interceptor.

Ohayon said that at 6 a.m. she got up and only then saw what had happened.

“I got a shock.. This was my greatest fear. It is soul-destroying. The damage is less important, but the emotion… you don’t know what to tell the children,” she said.

“To get up and move house now is not possible,” she said, noting that the family have lived in the home for less than two years.

“We are really not considering leaving this city,” she said.

Terror groups in the Gaza Strip fired five rockets at Sderot and the surrounding areas, all of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome.

The IDF retaliated by striking two sites in the Palestinian coastal enclave that has been ruled by the Hamas terror group since 2007.

The flareup in Gaza came as a massive military operation in the West Bank drew to a close, with hundreds of Israeli troops withdrawing from Jenin after two days of intense fighting in the Palestinian refugee camp.

There was no claim for the rocket fire. Israel says it holds Hamas, which rules the Strip, responsible for all attacks emanating from the territory regardless of the group launching the attack.

The rocket fire was the first from the coastal enclave since May 14, at the tail end of a five-day flareup in violence between the IDF and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

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