The Traumatic Impact of Rocket Attacks in Sderot: A Call to Action

Rocket attacks from Gaza have been a constant threat to the residents of Israeli city, Sderot, for nearly two decades. The latest attack on Friday, which struck a family home and left the living room damaged, has once again brought attention to the traumatic impact these attacks have on the mental health of those who call Sderot their home.

Despite the fact that the mother, father, and 9-month old baby girl inside were miraculously unharmed, the reality is that residents are forced to live with the constant fear of rocket attacks targeting their homes and communities. The parents in this case have declared their intention to leave Sderot due to the fear for their daughter’s mental health. This should not be a decision that any family should have to make.

According to a 2022 study from Herzog Hospital Psychotrauma Center, 45% of children aged 2-6 in Sderot suffer from trauma as a result of the rocket attacks. These attacks are not just physical, but also psychological, leaving lasting scars on the mental health of those affected. The daily stress and trauma of living in such a high-stress environment can have detrimental effects on the overall health, well-being, and resilience of these individuals and their communities.

It is essential that we recognize the severity of the situation in Sderot and take action to support and protect the people who are affected. The Israeli government should prioritize the safety and security of Sderot’s residents by implementing measures to prevent rocket attacks and investing in state-of-the-art missile defense systems.

Additionally, mental health services should be made readily available to those who may be experiencing anxiety, depression or other mental health issues as a result of the constant threat of rocket attacks. Furthermore, NGOs and other humanitarian organizations must step up to provide additional support and resources to help alleviate the burden of trauma and stress that the people of Sderot are experiencing.

It is unacceptable that the people of Sderot have to live in fear for their safety and mental health. The Israeli government, international community, and humanitarian organizations must work together to prioritize the safety, security, and mental well-being of Sderot’s residents. Let us stand together with the people of Sderot and work towards a future where they can live a life free from the constant fear and threat of rocket attacks.