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What Have We Wrought? Playground Bomb Shelters




City officials in Sderot, Israel are designing community parks with bomb shelters that look like a playground structure from the air. These large concrete tube shelters are painted to resemble a “caterpillar.” When the rocket alarm sounds, the children know they have just about 15 seconds to get to cover—the time it takes a rocket fired from Gaza to reach Sderot. Photo: Courtesy of Rick Burres

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We’ve presented a few articles about playgrounds in war zones: ''A Playground in Bethlehem,'' Sept. 2003 ; and Big Toys shipping a playground to a girl’s school in Basra, Iraq

LASN saw a news item on the website of Murray State University (Murray, Kentucky) that gave us more than a moment’s pause.

The article, written by Rick Burres, states in part:
“In the town of Sderot, Israel, located one mile from the Gaza Strip, children live under threat of instant death. … Three-year-olds know where the nearest bomb shelters are. They are taught to run to the nearest shelter when the neighborhood ‘rocket alarm’ sounds. The children of Sderot have 15 seconds to save their own lives.” (A rocket fired from Gaza takes about 15 seconds to reach Sderot, according to Israeli Defense Force officials.)

“Sederot began enduring these rocket attacks since October of 2001, according to Noam Bedein, director of the Sderot Media Center.

“ ‘We teach our children to run to the shelters while the Arabs teach theirs to run to the rooftops in order to act as human shields,’ “ Bedein said.

“City officials have started designing community parks with integrated bomb shelters. These new shelters are designed to blend in with the park’s other features. Giant concrete tubes with blast walls at each end are made to look like caterpillars.”

The news item adds: “According to the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, since 2001 there have been 3,484 rockets fired from Gaza, 988 of which were fired in the first five months of 2008.”

Various “cease-fires” are frequently violated.


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December 10, 2019, 8:10 pm PDT

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