Testimony: Civilians injured in rocket attack near Ofakim, 18 November 2012


On Sunday 18 November 2012, Judi Ronen, a 58-year-old resident of Sde Nitzan was on her way home from Soroka Hospital in Beersheba where she works as a midwife. On the road just outside the city of Ofakim, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded near the car in which she was a passenger. The Magen David website reports that four people were injured in the rocket attack: one seriously, one moderately and two suffered mild injuries. Ronen relayed the following description of events to B'Tselem:

Judi Ronen

"I was on my way home from my job at Soroka Hospital. Two other women who live in the area were with me in the car. Just as we reached the traffic light near Ofakim we heard the "Color Red" siren. We crossed the intersection and continued driving another ten meters or so until we reached a bus stop, where we stopped the car. We got out and lay down on the ground. I heard a terrific explosion shortly followed by another one. We saw that at the traffic light behind us, where we had been just moments before, a car had been hit and a person had been injured. I am a nurse and there was a doctor in the car with me. It wasn't long before soldiers arrived on the scene and tended to the wounded man. I don't know if there were any other people in the car that had been hit.

At that point it was very difficult to make out the condition of the wounded man. I couldn't see what part of his body had been hit. He was lying on the road and seemed to be in a state of shock, but he was conscious. Shortly thereafter he was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

I think that the rockets landed in a field near the road. The back window of the car was shattered but I didn't see whether the rocket had hit the car or whether the car had been damaged by the blast.

When this happened I felt uncontrollable dread spread throughout my body. When something like this happens near you it's different than when you hear about it happening elsewhere. It's scary. I've been living in the south for many years. You hear about it all the time, but until you actually see it happen next to you, how shall I put it, it doesn't concern you as much. There is a sense of luck that I wasn't injured, whereas a person who was standing where I had been just seconds before was.

After we calmed down a bit, we continued on our way. We continue to drive to work in Beersheba every day."