Sderot kindergarten heavily damaged by rocket
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Sderot kindergarten heavily damaged by rocket

Explosion in yard of building punctures wall, shatters windows; two other schools also damaged by projectiles

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Shrapnel holes scar the wall of a kindergarten in the southern town of Sderot after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in its yard on May 5, 2019. (Sderot Municipality)
Shrapnel holes scar the wall of a kindergarten in the southern town of Sderot after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in its yard on May 5, 2019. (Sderot Municipality)

Officials in Sderot said Sunday that a kindergarten in the southern town was plied by shrapnel when a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip exploded overnight in its yard, causing heavy damage to the building.

The projectile struck just outside the kindergarten, sending rocket fragments smashing through walls, windows and furniture inside, a Sderot municipality spokesperson said.

There were no injuries in the blast and the damage was not found until Sunday morning. The kindergarten was empty at the time and remained shut Sunday morning by military order, together with all other educational institutions in areas adjacent to Gaza, as a safety measure during the ongoing rocket attacks.

The kindergarten will remain closed and the children will be sent to another school until the building can be repaired, the spokesperson said.

The intense violence that engulfed the region over the weekend began on Friday evening, when a sniper in Gaza shot at two Israeli soldiers along the border, injuring them. The military responded with a strike on a Hamas position that killed several members of the Islamist terror group.

Over 450 rockets and mortar shells were fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip over the course of 24 hours over the weekend, killing Moshe Agadi, 58, a father of four, who was declared dead after being rushed to Ashkelon’s Barzilai hospital with shrapnel wounds at around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service reported that it treated over 100 people injured or traumatized in the rocket attacks, including nine people with shrapnel wounds and dozens injured as they ran for shelter. When warning sirens sound, residents in the areas bordering the Gaza Strip have a maximum of 15 seconds to reach safety before rockets explode.

At least three rockets landed outside schools in southern Israel, including the Sderot kindergarten. All were empty due to it being the weekend.

A kindergarten in the southern town of Sderot that was hit by shrapnel from a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip that struck its courtyard on May 5, 2019. (Sderot Municipality)
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