Israeli man moulds missiles into artworks to deal with mental trauma

|     Keren Setton     |

JERUSALEM (Xinhua) – Yaron Bob, a tall and large man with gentle eyes and blunt movements, handles metals briskly, lighting torches and moulding pieces into artwork. His workshop is an organised mess.

However, they are not merely metals, but were missiles whistling over southern Israel, a volatile area that borders the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

He recalled the day 12 years ago, when a missile exploded just metres away from him and changed the course of his life.

He was not physically injured, but the toll on his mental health was immediate.

“I went home, sat down and all the emotions started accumulating,” Bob told Xinhua. “I wanted to take away all my emotions and … make something that stands for what I believe.”

Even years after the incident, a loud noise from a passing car could make Bob all jittery. Only when he realises it is not a rocket, he eases back into his routine work.

At his workshop, Bob is surrounded by hundreds of missiles, either from Gaza or the Israeli Iron Dome system which intercepts rockets.

“I want to take the instrument of death and destruction and transfer it into something representing beauty and prosperity,” he explained.

He went into great detail of each missile, including their specifications. He is careful not to use those that caused injury or death.

“I really think it is bad energy,” Bob said, referring to the missiles that hurt someone.

Many of the missiles fired by Hamas are Qassam rockets, which are cheap, unsophisticated and manufactured from simple metal pipes, standard fertiliser, sugar and basic explosives.

They are inaccurate and do not have a long range, Bob said.