PICTURE SPECIAL: Unexploded rockets land in Ukraine Jewish community centre
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PICTURE SPECIAL: Unexploded rockets land in Ukraine Jewish community centre

Survivors of a rocket attack on a Jewish centre in east Ukraine this week told of their “fear and panic” as the building was hit by mortar shells while they were inside. 

 Tuesday’s dramatic incident at the Hesed centre in the suburbs of Kramatorsk miraculously resulted in no injuries, as two rockets landed in the courtyard and on the roof. Both failed to explode.  

“We all were in there when the shelling started,” recalled director Galina Gabinskaya. “We didn’t understand what it was at first. When we actually saw a missile hitting the ground in the yard, that’s when we got really scared.”

Hesed is a one of World Jewish Relief’s partners and provides welfare support to over 500 vulnerable Jews, many of whom are elderly.

“There were 12 clients in the club, all elderly people on the verge of panic,” said Gabinskaya. “We immediately called taxis and sent them home. We also called the Department for Emergency Situations to let them know about the missiles. After that the employees also left the building.”

WJR chief executive Paul Anticoni said: “It underlines the seriousness of the ongoing talks between Ukraine and Russia and the critical nature of the current humanitarian situation. I’m glad nobody was hurt. Civilian casualties are mounting up across the region. The world must act now.”

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