A Year After the Gaza War: The Forgotten Children of Sderot
So what of the kids? That is the question American television producer Liane Thompson is asking. She is hoping to give them a voice and keep the center open with a feature-length documentary she is producing titled Children of Missile City.
The documentary follows a handful of Sderot children, their parents, and therapists offering viewers a glimpse of the lingering effects of PTSD. Thompson says she’s making the film to raise awareness of trauma and it ramifications.
“We live in times of red and orange alerts but what do people really know about the long-term effects of terrorism?” Thompson asked. “The Sderot children and what they’re living is the perfect chance to tell that story.”
The story includes teenagers who sleep with their parents, children unable to function within society, and young people terrified of exiting the safety of bomb shelters.
Israel’s government has been putting emergency funding toward the handful of staffers who continue treating the 6,500 or so young sufferers, but the walk-in center shut its doors earlier this year.
Why don’t people simply pick up and leave? They can’t. Sderot is a working class town of 20,000. And with the situation as it has been, properties don’t exactly fall into the prime real estate category.
Thompson and a host of therapists, parents, and kids have hopes pinned on the documentary. If it gets made and starts circulating, awareness surrounding the implications of nearly a decade of rocket fire will be revived.
Unfortunately, the rocket fire could easily be revived as well. Citing the expanded number of weapons tunnels running from Egypt to Gaza, Sderot Media Center spokesperson Jacob Shrybman predicts it’s a mere matter of time before 20+ rockets start raining down on the city again.
And what then?
“It’s all in the terrorists’ hands,” he says. “That’s why the city’s population is so traumatized. The so-called quiet we have now isn’t settling. It’s downright eerie. And whenever a siren goes off, it serves as a reminder that Hamas can terrorize us whenever they want.”