Daily Life In Israel Under Rocket Fire As Frustration Grows
Be’er Sheva – an ancient city with a long history of successfully facing vicious enemies – is home to a shopping mall that claims to be the biggest in the Middle East, and also turns out to be one of the safest and most secure in the country. The Grand Kanyon (pun intended)’s security arrangements, however, are rarely discussed in its advertising campaign.
A visit by JewishPress.com to the mall showed that architects and designers made sure every shopper is safe in the event of a rocket attack. For a huge mall, that’s a complicated task: Grand Kanyon solved it by placing a large bomb shelter right next to each rest room on every floor in the mall.
This means there is a bomb shelter on each side of each floor, at each end of the mall – four to a floor.
How weird is it for a city to have reached the point that a shopping mall is forced to integrate bomb shelters into its design? In this mall, they have made an effort to minimize the horror and make the necessity as elegant as possible.
People in Be’er Sheva have 60 seconds to reach a safe space during a missile attack from Gaza. If they are shopping at Grand Kanyon, they are always within a minute of a bomb shelter, even if they have to grab a child and evacuate a store.
The bomb shelters are located within seconds of the exits from the stores into the halls where rest rooms are located. The shelters themselves are equipped with outlets for telephone, television and electrical power, and each even has an escape hatch as well. They are large, clean and well-lit. But they cannot distract from their main purpose — to keep people safe from rocket fire.
At the Motzetzim baby good supply store around the corner from the Food Court on the lower level, saleswoman Tali told JewishPress.com on Saturday night, “We’ve talked about the timing and what we have to do to evacuate the store — also how long it will take us to get to the shelter after making sure everyone is out safely.”
“I would be willing to put up with having to be in the bomb shelter for as long as necessary if something was being accomplished. But I question the value of a single targeted assassination when we get 450 rockets back with all the damage and trauma and injuries and once again start something we do not finish that comes with endless ceasefire violations,” she said.