years of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.
Over 12,000 rockets have been fired since 2001, endangering the lives of innocent civilians and traumatizing many more.
In the summer of 2005, Israel took the very painful step of evacuating 10,000 of its citizens from 21 communities in the Gaza region. Families were uprooted, synagogues were abandoned, schools and businesses were closed forever - all in the hope of a peaceful future.
"There will be no more rockets fired into Israeli communities", was the Israeli position, "since Israeli settlement in the Gaza Strip has ended." Unfortunately, disengagement from Gaza had the opposite effect.
The once flourishing Israeli communities were turned into bases of terror, from which thousands of rockets were launched daily, deep into Israeli territory. As rocket attacks intensified, fear, panic and destruction became the norm.
As sirens wailed "Code Red", residents had 15 seconds to run for their lives. Israel's response was muted, in the hope that perseverance and restraint would lead to a diplomatic solution. But restraint only encouraged more rocket attacks.
Operation Cast Lead was launched in December 2008 as a last-resort attempt to bring about the elusive peace and security that its citizens rightfully deserved. Although a military success, the operation was a diplomatic nightmare, as the UN's Goldstone Report condemned Israel for its' aggression.
While the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza was significantly damaged, it was not eliminated, and rocket fire continues to terrorize Israel's citizens. But the people of Israel are resilient - their spirit remains high and their dreams for a peaceful future remain very much alive.
They live by their biblical promise that, "Swords will be turned into plowshares" (Isaiah 2:4). Out of destruction comes growth. "Am Yisrael Chai" - the people of Israel will endure.
In the remote Israeli town of Yated, just a stone's throw from Israel's border with both Egypt and Gaza, metal sculptor, blacksmith and part-time computer teacher Yaron Bob, has found his way of turning "swords into plowshares". He turns Kassam rockets that were fired into Israel by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, into beautiful hand-sculpted pieces of art - magnificent roses.
Following years of relentless rocket attacks into Israeli communities so close to home, Yaron was driven to create something positive from these objects of destruction and death.
"I find it fascinating to make a work of art from a piece of metal. It is powerfully meaningful when a missile that is used for killing is turned into a sign of beauty, growth and prosperity", Yaron said.
With just a hammer, anvil and furnace, Yaron melts, moulds and sculpts rocket metal into gorgeous flowers. It is our hope that Yaron's roses remain very limited edition pieces.
Each rose is different - and takes 3 to 4 hours to sculpt. The stem is welded onto a metal base shaped as the map of Israel, with the rose "growing" from the very place where most of the rockets landed. A plaque mounted on the base indicates the month and year that particular rocket landed. A signed and numbered certificate of authenticity accompanies each rose.
Yaron's roses are truly a piece of history - living proof that Israel has endured missile attacks for years. They have been presented to dignitaries such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
A portion of the proceeds of each item sold will be donated to Operation Lifeshield to build bomb shelters in the city of Ashkelon.
The city of Ashkelon and Yaron Bob are most grateful for your support. And please refer all your friends, family and associates to our site. We would appreciate your help in spreading this powerful life changing message of Rockets into Roses around the world.