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Nov. 16, 2006 0:43 | Updated Nov. 16, 2006 10:01
Sderot victim was a Muslim married to a Jew
By NOAM BEDEIN
At 7:18 a.m. on Wednesday morning, six Kassam rockets slammed into Sderot, killing Fatima Slutsker, 57, and seriously wounding Maor Peretz, 24, a security guard for Defense Minister Amir Peretz.
Slutsker was a Muslim woman who came from the Caucasus Mountains in the Former Soviet Union just three years ago with her Jewish husband.
An eyewitness in a store nearby said she had crossed the road seconds before the rocket landed, and had been waiting for her husband, who was still on the other side of the street.
Avichai Yosef and Benny Libranti from Zaka, the rescue organization that rushes to the scene after terrorist attacks, described the bloody scene as looking like a suicide bombing on a bus.
They said it took hours to gather body parts, which were scattered in a 50-meter, and bones and legs were found on the top of the trees and on car windshields.
Slutsker was laid to rest in the non-Jewish section of the Sderot cemetery on Wednesday afternoon. Of the approximately 150 people that attended her funeral, only 60 of Sderot's 20,000 residents showed up. Most of the others were members of the media.
Residents said that they were afraid to leave their homes to go to the cemetery, which is in the closest part of town to the Gaza Strip.
But a delegation of Moslem Knesset members showed up to pay their respects as Slutsker was laid to rest.
Slutsker was the sixth resident of Sderot killed by rockets from Gaza, out of a total of 23 killed by Kassams over the past two years.
Maor Peretz, a resident of Sderot, was also directly hit by a rocket that landed near Amir Peretz's home and sheared off his legs. Peretz, who is not related to the defense minister, was rushed to Ashkelon's Barzilai Medical Center, where he was listed in "serious but stable condition."
Another barrage of rockets struck Sderot at 6:10 p.m. This time, a 17-year-old man sustained serious wounds as he and his friends were sitting on a park bench.
Noam Bedein runs the Sderot Information Center