And you have only seconds to get to safety. In your shelter there are crying children, bewildered parents, and the mutterings of prayers as you wait to see if your neighborhood is hit.
This is the reality of life in Southern Israel. Of life in Be'er Sheva where 1 has been killed already. Of life in Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Sderot where the daily terror has returned. 1 million Israelis live under terror now, but the world screams there is a truce.
A Kassam rocket exploded on Monday night in an open area in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council after three further rockets exploded earlier in the evening. One of the rockets that fell south of Ashkelon earlier sparked a fire near a kibbutz, and was later doused, police said.
The attacks once again placed reports of an unofficial ceasefire in question and have shattered a period of around 8 hours when no projectiles were fired at southern Israel.
Earlier on Monday, Taher a-Nunu, spokesman for the Hamas government, said that the factions in the Gaza Strip and Hamas announced that they are willing to comply to truce, if Israel agrees not to carry out more strikes.
The Popular Resistance Committees, the group Israel says is behind a deadly terror attack last week near Eilat, announced Monday that it would adhere to a cease-fire as an escalation in Gaza seemed to calm. The announcement followed reports that Palestinian factions had agreed to stop firing rockets at Israel.
"We will temporarily stop firing rockets for the sake of our Palestinian people," the terrorist group said in a statement posted on its website, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported. The PRC had previously resisted committing to a cease-fire.
Over a dozen rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel since Sunday night and the IDF struck back in the Strip at least once. No Gaza-based group took responsibility for the rocket launches. No injuries were reported from the rockets.
Earlier Monday, Palestinian officials said that Hamas had agreed to enforce a cease-fire on smaller Palestinian factions in Gaza, which have been responsible for most of the rockets fired at Israel in the escalation of recent days.
One official who was involved in mediating talks between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza said the groups had "reached an understanding on a truce and that the truce has started."
Officials said that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a cease-fire after five days of cross-border violence earlier.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office denied that it was partner to any signed cease-fire agreement in Gaza.
A source in the PMO told Army Radio, "We do not sign agreements with Hamas, not directly and not indirectly."
He added, "Israel is monitoring the implementation of the cease-fire. If they continue the shooting, we'll respond accordingly."
At a late-night meeting with security cabinet ministers, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu concluded that Israel will not respond to any attacks from Gaza with a large-scale operation.
While the Israeli media marvels at the continued rocket fire from Gaza despite the so-called ‘ceasefire’, David Bedein, head of the Israel Resource News Agency, Center for Near East Policy Research in Jerusalem is not surprised at all.To the world at large there is a truce and Israel is suppose to allow the rockets to fall. It is time that Israel declare a hudna or tahadiya of their own.
In an interview with Arutz Sheva on Monday, Bedein explained that the Arab terms ‘hudna’ and ‘tahadiya’, which are used by Hamas to describe the ceasefire, do not at all mean that the firing of rockets and missiles stops completely.
Bedein added that according to Islamic rules, these terms allow the individual who uses them to keep fighting or to stop the fighting as he wishes.
“They can attack and stop attacking whenever they want,” he said. “There is no connection between hudna and tahadiya and a ceasefire. You have to understand the terms.”
Bedein’s Center for Near East Policy has studied these terms carefully using four Middle East experts. He reminded what happened after three previous ‘ceasefires’ that were declared by Hamas: After the ceasefire announced in 2006 235 missiles and rockets were into Israeli territory; after the ceasefire announced in 2008 and which lasted six months, 538 missiles and rockets were fired; after the third ceasefire, which was signed after the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, no less than 912 missiles and rockets were fired into Israeli territory.
Bedein emphasized that the Israeli public must understand the differences in the terms and added that when Israelis hear the media mention a ceasefire they should point out the error to the media outlets and say that it is not a ceasefire but a hudna or a tahadiya. He also recommended that similar protest calls also be made to the President’s Residence, which he said helps spreads the ceasefire lie.
He added that the Prime Minister and the Foreign Ministry are not free from blame either, since they know what the terms mean and still do not explain them to the public. The reason for that, believes Bedein, is that “there are elements in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry who do not want to deal with a situation of total war with the Palestinian Authority.”
Meanwhile, ceasefire or not, southern Israeli cities came under rocket fire again for a fifth night on Monday.
Residents in Ashkelon found themselves racing for cover several times throughout the night Monday as the Color Red air raid siren blared its warning, starting in the early evening.
The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terrorist group had announced earlier Monday in a statement on its website that it would adhere to a Hamas-led ceasefire. However, more than a dozen rockets were fired Sunday night after the so-called truce was imposed.
No Gaza-based group took responsibility for the attacks.