Ashdod Tense But (Relatively) Quiet

YERUSHALAYIM -

If you were to ask residents of Ashdod how they fared this past Shabbos under the ever-present threat of rocket fire from Gaza, they would tell you that it was a pretty quiet Shabbos.

But “quiet” is a relative term. It was quiet, but only relative to what it was like on Friday and the days before that, when volley after volley of rockets were aimed at the city. By comparison, the two air raid sirens — one LeilShabbos, one in the morning — was a piece of cake, or kugel.

The peace of Leil Shabbos was disrupted in the coastal city as people were awakened by the Code Red siren at 2:55 a.m. The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted four rockets. A fifth rocket exploded on a road in a residential area, causing light damage. B’chasdei Shamayim, no one was hurt.

During Shabbos, the roar of Israeli jet fighters overhead on their way to missions in Gaza broke the tranquility of the day, along with the muffled sounds of explosions in the distance from IDF artillery hammering the Hamas enclave.

Residents followed civil defense guidelines, holding minyanim only in buildings with access to protected areas. Some institutions lent their buildings to minyanim that lacked protected areas.

Meanwhile, the Ashdod municipality announced that there would be no school, no summer camp activities and warned against people gathering at sites where rockets or rocket debris landed.