A man whose home in the southern city of Sderot suffered serious damage in a rocket attack from Gaza overnight said he believed he and his wife miraculously escaped after warning sirens failed to wake them.
“It’s a miracle [that we’re okay],” Shlomo Malka told Hebrew media outlets. “We did not hear the alert at all, we were awoken by the explosion.”
“It cut the house in two. It hit the roof of the secure room,” he said, referring to the shelter within the house. “Suddenly we heard explosions and smelled smoke. We ran to the police station,” he told the Ynet news site. “It was only after we left [the house] that we saw the destruction.”
“It was very scary but luckily nobody was hurt. My granddaughters were supposed to come to stay for Shabbat but the whole kitchen has been destroyed. I still haven’t internalized what has happened,” Malka said.
Pictures of the home showed the kitchen blown apart, windows smashed and large holes in the walls and roof.
Reports indicated that the damage may have been caused by an unexploded rocket that hit the house or large pieces of shrapnel from an interception by the Iron Dome defense system.
Twelve rockets were fired at southern Israel from the Strip on Thursday evening and in the early hours of Friday morning, the IDF said. Nine of them were intercepted by Iron Dome missile defense system.
“We hold Hamas responsible for all terror activity emanating from Gaza,” the military added.
The rockets marked a major escalation, even as tensions have ramped up over the past several weeks with sporadic rocket fire and hundreds of balloons carrying incendiary devices being launched toward Israel.
The Israel Defense Forces said it carried out three sets of strikes overnight and in the early hours of the morning in response to rocket fire, targeting underground infrastructure belonging to Hamas, a cement facility used to provide materials for tunnels dug by Gazan terror groups and a site where rockets are produced.