Hundreds of people gathered at the main junction at the entrance to Ashkelon, Thursday afternoon, to rally against the lack of fortifications in the city to protect residents from ongoing barrages of rockets launched from Gaza.

Dozens of rockets have been launched at the western Negev in the past two weeks, one of which was a longer-range Grad rocket that wounded 15 in an Ashkelon shopping mall last Wednesday. Residents of the southern city had previously been largely out of rocket range.

Children in the crowd dropped to the ground as protest organizers blared a Color Red alert. Other protesters carried signs reading, “Don’t abandon children in the field,” “Who will save my house?” and “Ashkelon deserves to have quiet.”

“We’re sick of the behavior of the military and other sources. People are shooting rockets, missiles at us and no one is responding,” said resident Moshe Nisimfor.

“It’s time for the Palestinians to understand that there’s someone on the other said that can act against them with force. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t understand this,” he said.

“(Hamas leader Ismail) Haniyeh, understood this when he purged Gaza of Fatah operatives and (late king) Hussein did it in Jordan,” he added. “Only Israel continues to do nothing.”

The Ashkelon Parents Association was among the protest organizers. Some members, pursuant to a special meeting on potential civil action on the topic, had called for boycotting schools. However, in the end, the group agreed on a protest as a better first option.

Rocket fire from Gaza continued the afternoon of the protest. A rocket landed in the western Negev, fortunately not resulting in any casualties.