Troubling Photos Show Israelis Grabbing Front-Row Seats to Watch Airstrikes on Gaza

The news: While most around the world watch with growing alarm as the bombs fall over Gaza, some Israelis have taken a different approach: enjoying the spectacle.  

Allan Sørensen, a Danish news correspondent for the Kristeligt Dagblad, posted this picture to Twitter last week. 

Kristeligt Dagblad reported that more than 50 Israelis gathered on a hilltop cheering "as they [watched] the deadly aerial bombardment of Gaza." The scene was a sort of "cinema" as people assembled for "a reality war theatre," and clapped after blasts were heard. Some people were seen eating popcorn or smoking hookah from their chairs on the hill, according to the Independent.

Other similar images have since surfaced, indicating this kind of spectating may be more common than one would like to believe. Even a couch was brought up for "Sderot cinema," turning the Gaza-Israel conflict into a full blown spectator sport.



Image Credit (both): Getty 

What are they watching? Rockets and missiles. Israel's missile defense system, Operation Protective Edge, has intercepted more than 400 rockets sent into Israel from Gaza, 76 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense program. The frequent firing of rockets from Gaza has made a dash to shelter a daily routine for hundreds of thousands of Israelis. The IDF began their aerial campaign last Tuesday, and the military claims to have struck more than 1,100 targets. 

Israel launched at least 19 major air strikes all along the Gaza Strip and the death toll has now risen to 235 Palestinians. The IDF are employing, "roof knocking," in which the IDF fires a missile at civilian homes to warn occupants ahead of a larger attack. Amnesty International has condemned the practice


Just after 10 p.m. local time on Thursday, the Israeli military announced it had begun a ground operation on the Gaza Strip, saying its goal was to “establish a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security without continuous indiscriminate terror.”

Thousands of Gaza Strip citizens are heeding the advice of the Israeli military and fleeing their homes for safety concerns. Both sides [appear] ready to continue and to escalate the conflict," reports the New York Times.

Such a grave and bloody crisis calls for a serious emotional response. The reports about "Sderot cinema" illustrate the opposite. The death of hundreds of people is nothing to cheer on. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jenna Kagel

Jenna Kagel covers global and national social injustices. She also focuses on political dysfunction, the intersection of money and policy, and the US criminal justice system.

MORE FROM

Meet the Girl Scouts that will earn badges for being cybersecurity experts

They'll soon get badges for coding, cryptography and more.

How to use the Snapchat Map while everyone else continues to be confused about it

Everything you need to know about the new feature.

Planet 10? Scientists may have discovered a hidden planet in our solar system

There could be a ninth — or even 10th — planet hiding out in our solar system.

Scientists created a robot that will iron your clothes for you

Shut up and take my money.

Moth eyes have inspired the touchscreen of the future

It's going to change the anti-reflection game.

Twitter was flagging tweets including the word "queer" as potentially "offensive content"

Why Twitter put the word "queer" in the same category as violent, sexual imagery.

Meet the Girl Scouts that will earn badges for being cybersecurity experts

They'll soon get badges for coding, cryptography and more.

How to use the Snapchat Map while everyone else continues to be confused about it

Everything you need to know about the new feature.

Planet 10? Scientists may have discovered a hidden planet in our solar system

There could be a ninth — or even 10th — planet hiding out in our solar system.

Scientists created a robot that will iron your clothes for you

Shut up and take my money.

Moth eyes have inspired the touchscreen of the future

It's going to change the anti-reflection game.

Twitter was flagging tweets including the word "queer" as potentially "offensive content"

Why Twitter put the word "queer" in the same category as violent, sexual imagery.