TWENTY-EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Tom Becker, born and bred in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, has found himself in the thick of Hamas rocket fire over the last week.
Last Thursday, the Sderot apartment building in which Becker and his girlfriend Bat-elle live was hit by rockets – their own unit was hit, as well as the bomb shelter in which they were seeking safety.
“My house was hit with a rocket! My girlfriend and I should be dead,” Becker said.
The former Emanuel School pupil now lives a mere 10 kilometres from Gaza, having moved to Israel just over a year ago to be with Bat-elle.
Speaking to the The AJN from their home in Dover Heights, Tom’s parents Petra and Miguel Becker said they were concerned for Tom’s safety, though at the same time support his decision to stay in Israel.
“We are glad and he is happy to be alive. The rocket hit the building. Not only the building; his unit … Lucky they were in the shelter room. If not, it could have been much worse,” Miguel said.
Fractures in the walls of the apartment building’s bomb shelter are under repair following the attack.
“He wants to stay there. I personally feel that when you want to live in Israel you just have to go through this,” Petra said.
In Sderot, there have been sirens going off multiple times each day as rockets are fired from Gaza, and with the possibility of a ceasefire uncertain, this could continue in the days and weeks to come.
“He found his happiness in Israel and he is quite willing to stick it out … he is confident, as we are, that things will improve,” Miguel said.
“I’m sure there’s some kind of a ceasefire that will take place. It’s not going to be a solution forever, but for the time being I think it will be.”
Tom said he and Bat-elle may go temporarily to Tel Aviv until things settle down.
A rocket struck the Sderot apartment of Tom Becker (inset).