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Sderot in the Midst of a Rare Quiet

A look at Gaza’s beleaguered neighbor

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A Billboard Counts How Many Qassim Rockets Sderot Has Been Hit By(Gaza Border)

Over at the Atlantic, Armin Rosen has a great piece on Sderot, the town infamously on Israel’s border with Gaza, which is dealing with an uncommon phenomenon: silence. Having just logged its first rocket-free months since 2004, Rosen looks at the town’s present and its future:

The lull in rocket fire only emphasizes the town’s arresting normality — it’s a place that’s interchangeable with much of the rest of the country, and clearly factored into its future plans and development. It isn’t a fringe frontier community, but an integrated part of the cramped coastal plane where the vast majority of the Israeli population lives.

How much longer can the normalcy endure? Sderot is too close to Gaza to be protected by the Iron Dome, the missile interceptor system that picked off 85 percent of the mid and long-range rockets aimed at populated areas inside of Israel during November’s flare-up. Many in Sderot feel that Israel should have continued the Gaza operation, instead of settling for a ceasefire agreement that, among other concessions, doubled the distance that Gazan vessels could travel from shore from three to six miles, and opened Egypt’s Rafah crossing for trade in building materials.

Bar Kiassi, another Sderot resident, is still grateful for such an unprecedented break in rocket fire. “Anything that makes the death around here lower is a success,” she told me.” Still, she added, people in Sderot are hardly convinced the cessation in rocket fire can last. “They think it’s just another month until it starts again.”

An interesting read with some on the ground reporting.

All Quiet on the Gaza Front [Atlantic]

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Sderot in the Midst of a Rare Quiet

A look at Gaza’s beleaguered neighbor

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