Quiet on the Gaza border is deceptive

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 17, 2009

Almost a year after Operation Cast Lead, Israel may still be fighting a legal and diplomatic battle over the war in the international arena, but around Gaza itself there is uncustomary calm.

On the Israeli side, all the damage caused by missiles and mortar rounds has been repaired, and life is back almost to normal in the villages around the Gaza Strip. While the occasional Kassam is still fired towards Israel, these are always badly aimed. They quite often fall in Palestinian territory and have not caused any Israeli casualties in the last 11 months.


Oxfam official to be shown Sderot

By Simon Rocker, March 12, 2009

The head of the Reform movement, Rabbi Tony Bayfield, is to take a senior representative of Oxfam next week to Sderot, the southern Israeli town that has been the prime target of rocket attacks from Gaza.

“We will be going to a school in Sderot,” he told a meeting of the Reform council on Sunday, “and he can see Israeli children who have been physically and psychologically traumatised by the war to understand a bit better that there are two sides to the story.”


Lords shown Sderot bomb part at debate

By Marcus Dysch, February 12, 2009

The Israeli army’s tactics and the aftermath of the Gaza conflict have been discussed at length during a special House of Lords debate.

An additional session of the Upper House was convened last Friday, with 34 peers taking the opportunity to give their views on Operation Cast Lead and the subsequent humanitarian crisis.

Many recalled their personal experiences of visits to both sides of the border.

Lord Janner brought to the chamber pieces of a shattered car tail light and a bomb fragment which he had collected in the aftermath of a rocket attack on Sderot last month.


JNF weekend earns over £50k for Sderot

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 12, 2009

Responding to a plea from Sderot for funding for a secure park for children, JNF Manchester raised over £50,000 at the weekend.

Almost £5,000 was brought in from a party at the Bijou bar in the city centre on Saturday evening. Close on 400 people attended the event, staged by JNF’s new Unite group, catering for 21-to-40-year-olds.

The bulk of the money was brought in from JNF’s annual Green Sunday telephone appeal. Thirty volunteers manned phones at the charity’s Manchester offices in Mamlock House.


JLGB welcomes Sderot group to camp getaway

By Jessica Ware, August 1, 2008

Sderot teenagers are guests at the Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade's national summer camp.

They joined other Israelis and visitors from France and Canada to swell the turnout to over 300 at the 10-day event in Colchester. Participants enjoyed activities ranging from archery to an Apprentice-style challenge.

Brigade chief executive Neil Martin said the Sderot group had "blended in well and made lots of friends. They are not used to such freedom."


MDA donate ambulance to Sderot

July 25, 2008

Young Magen David Adom representatives presented an ambulance to Sderot during a mission to Israel in which they visited six MDA stations in six days. The keys were handed over to an Israeli-Arab medic, Said Al-Finish.

Other stations visited included the one in Sakhnin, MDA's first in an Arab town, and the visitors also participated in an emergency resuscitation course in Ramat Gan. Young MDA chairman Daniel Geey said: "We felt the trip gave the committee a real hands-on feel for Magen David Adom activities."


Brown won’t visit Sderot

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 18, 2008

Prime Minister Gordon Brown will visit Israel next week — but despite requests by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, he is not scheduled to visit Sderot.

Mr Brown’s visit to Jerusalem on Sunday and Monday will not last much longer than 24 hours. He is due to meet Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the foreign and defence ministers, and the head of the opposition. He will also sign two treaties, including an initiative of academic exchange reported by the JC last week.


The Sderot tour our PM avoided

By Shelly Paz and Jessica Elgot, July 18, 2008

Although Gordon Brown is visiting Israel next week, the Prime Minister has decided to avoid scheduling a trip to the Kassam-ravaged town of Sderot. The Jewish Chronicle — which has long campaigned for more UK awareness of what we have called “Israel’s unreported war” — believes this to be a lost opportunity for Mr Brown to learn first-hand how Hamas rockets have been tormenting the Negev town’s residents.

So today the JC offers Mr Brown this whistlestop guide to the Sderot that he should be seeing for himself.


A rocket from Sderot

By Alexandra Abrams, July 18, 2008

A group of 19- to 24-year-olds from Sderot brought an unusual gift to their South Hampstead Synagogue hosts — the shell of a Kassam rocket fired at their town in 2003.

The rocket shell, taken to London with Israeli government permission, was placed on the synagogue entrance table on Shabbat. “It stunned congregants to silence,” reported Alexandra Maurice, chair of the Hineni committee, under whose auspices the young Israelis visited. It was a “stark and real” reminder of the daily threat to Sderot residents.


MPs terrified by ‘close’ Sderot gunfire

By Dana Gloger, July 11, 2008

Conservative MPs have described their horror at experiencing a gunfire exchange in Sderot this week.

The politicians were close to the shoot-out between Israeli soldiers and snipers across the border when they visited the town on Wednesday as part of a five-day trip organised by Conservative Friends of Israel.

Peterborough MP and shadow communities and local government minister Stewart Jackson said: “We couldn’t see the gunfire, but could hear that it was close by. Not being able to see it actually made it more frightening.”