When President Barak Obama visited Sderot this past July, he left a lasting impression on Sderot resident, Pinchas Amar. "He was friendly and charismatic and showed genuine concern about the rocket situation," said Pinchas Amar. Amar's home was partially destroyed when a Palestinian rocket exploded over his kitchen in December 2007.
In a press conference held in Sderot during Obama's visit, Obama stated that he did not believe that any country would find it acceptable to have missiles raining down on the heads of their citizens.
"The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing," said Obama.
Pinchas Amar remembers Obama's words very clearly. In a press conference facilitated by Sderot Media Center at the Amars' family home in light of Obama's victory, Pinchas stated that Obama's visit to Sderot had given him hope. "Obama told me personally that he wants the Qassams to stop."
photo: Noam Bedein
Obama had also stated during his visit to Sderot that the US will always stand by the people of Israel. "The state of Israel faces determined enemies who seek its destruction," said Obama.
Obama furthermore promised to share the story of Sderot with his fellow Americans. "I will work from the moment that I return to America, to tell the story of Sderot and to make sure that the good people who live here are enjoying a future of peace and security and hope."
Indeed, peace and security have yet to visit the children and families of Sderot and the western Negev.
Only on Wednesday morning, November 5, a massive Palestinian rocket strike on Ashkelon and the western Negev had residents waking up in terror. Sderot residents were awakened around four in the morning by the red alert, Tzeva Adom siren, warning of impending rocket explosions. Sderot residents once again returned to the routine of Palestinian rockets as Americans voted in their new president during those hours.
In all, over 46 Palestinian rockets were fired at Israeli civilians and residential areas. The rockets damaged several green houses in the western Negev. Two rockets landed in Ashkelon, one which hit a quiet neighborhood, and sent three people into shock.