Middle East

Kitchen smashed and sirens sounding, Israeli family holds on after rocket hits

2 minute read

Family members of the Vaizel family, sit in the kitchen of their house which was damaged after it was hit by a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip earlier this week, in Ashkelon, Israel May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com

ASHKELON, Israel, May 20 (Reuters) - The Vaizel family long felt it was just a matter of time before their home was hit by a rocket from Gaza.

So after it came, plowing through their kitchen wall, they stayed on, trying to maintain a semblance of normal life even as fresh sirens forced them to rush back down to the bomb shelter.

An eruption of fighting on May 10 has seen more than 4,300 rockets launched by Islamist militants in the Gaza Strip, salvoes of an unprecedented intensity for southern Israel even as its forces have pounded the Palestinian enclave. read more

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com

"It is sad to say but we got used to it," said Adi Vaizel, 50, a widowed father of four. "Every few years we have this routine. It's unpleasant but, you know, we live in a place which is near a border, near a country we have a conflict with."

He added: "This round has been especially difficult."

Sirens sounded as the family hosted a Reuters TV crew. Everyone - including their Labrador named Shluk - trooped down to a fortified room in the basement, which saved them from the rocket strike on Sunday. read more

When the all-clear sounded, they were back upstairs, preparing food off improvised equipment in the ruined kitchen.

"There is still some fear, as they continue to fire rockets," said Vaizel's 17-year-old son Shai. "But I think it won't help if we go elsewhere. This is our home."

The rockets have killed 12 people in Israel, authorities say. Health officials in Gaza say 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, have been killed by Israeli shelling.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com
Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

More from Reuters