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Residents scramble for shelter as Israeli town is hit by rockets

Scripps News reporter Jason Bellini reports from Ashkelon, Israel, where air raid sirens sounded as soon as he arrived.
Residents scramble for shelter as Israeli town is hit by rockets
Posted at 7:19 AM, Oct 11, 2023

Scripps News reporter Jason Bellini reporter arrived in Ashkelon, Israel, on Wednesday as a rocket struck the town near the border with Gaza. 

When Bellini arrived in Ashkelon, he heard air raid alarms, prompting him and other residents to find shelter. Once the air raid sirens ended, shrapnel could be visible all over a parking lot to a residential building. 

On Tuesday, Hamas warned the town residents should leave, suggesting they would continue attacking the town. 

"This is a society that has grown accustomed to danger, grown accustomed to living amongst rocket strikes, especially when you're down south here in Israel," Bellini said. "This is not a new thing, hearing air raid alarms, but this is a very different situation right now. Far more intense than they've ever experienced before."

SEE MORE: Death toll rises as war between Israel and Hamas continues

Throughout Wednesday morning, some residents could be seen packing up and leaving Ashkelon. Other residents told Bellini that they weren't sure where to go. Some of them don't have a lot of money or resources to pick up and move elsewhere. 

But some have reported finding help on social media, giving them an opportunity to take refuge somewhere safer.

Given that Ashkelon is about 10 miles from the Gaza border, residents have mere seconds to take cover when air raid sirens are sounded. 

The war in Israel began on Saturday when Hamas launched attacks. The Israel Defense Forces says 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, have died. The Gaza Health Ministry says that over 1,000 Palestinians have died from Israel's retaliation. 

The fight between Israel and Hamas will likely continue as 300,000 IDF reserves have been called up and stationed near the Gaza border. 

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