Eva Navon, 94, of Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, is not going anywhere. "We're not afraid," she says.

The Health Ministry has asked, and warned, the residents of her nursing home to leave, because of the rocket fire on the western Negev. But Navon and the other 30 residents, including chronic-care patients, insist on staying at the kibbutz, as they did through most of Israel's wars.

"They say they survived all the wars the state has seen and at their age, they don't want to leave," nursing home director Ayala Hakel says. "One can die in peace here," Navon said. "You don't need to go to Tel Aviv for that."

Ruth Yashin Antebi of Ashkelon also refuses to let the Qassams change her daily routine. On Friday she celebrated her 86th birthday, meeting two friends at the local mall despite the sirens.

"I lived through the London Blitz for six years, when I was 16, so you can understand that I've already seen a thing or two in my life," she said, smiling. "At 86 things look different," one of her friends added. "When the bombs drop, that's a good time to eat cake."