by Nikki Gutman
Area residents describe continuing escalation, say they expect things between Israel and Gaza to "get serious" soon.
IDF forces search for the rocket that hit a home on a kibbutz
in the western Negev Saturday night
Residents of a kibbutz in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council in southern Israel had a narrow escape Saturday night when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip directly hit one of the homes without exploding.
Even though the residents of the house were at home when the rocket hit, no one was reported hurt. The home, however, sustained extensive damage, and several people in the vicinity were treated for shock.
Yiftach, a neighbor who helped the family carry their things to another neighbor's house for the night, noted that "This isn't new. On one hand, in our area, we're used to it. It's scary, and it affects the kids, but we chose to live here. We love this place and we'll continue to live here, even with all the mess."
"Tomorrow," he added, "we should be back to our regular routine, more alert, but other than that, we'll go on. It's been a part of our daily lives for several years now."
Another neighbor said, "There was a Color Red [siren]. We didn't manage to make it into the safe room in time. Only one of our daughters made it there – the other two were sleeping in their beds, and while we were running, we heard a loud boom."
A third resident, who lives a few houses away from the rocket impact site, said, "I heard a 'boom' that was louder than usual. I saw a lot of military vehicles and an ambulance."
"It all started with the incident with the flag and the explosive device and now the sides are testing each other and it spilled over into our kibbutz," he said, referring to an incident earlier on Saturday in which a bomb planted on the Gaza border and attached to a flag detonated and wounded four Israeli soldiers, two of them seriously. "There is definitely going to be another round [of fighting]," he added.
Kibbutz resident Natalie said, "I was in the car and suddenly I saw smoke. Everything has been getting worse lately. Within a month or so it'll get serious, maybe even less."
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