The State of Israel was formed in 1948 and is home to more than eight million people. It is the only state in the world where the majority of citizens are Jewish. There is a Muslim minority of around 1.4 million people and a smaller Christian minority of around 160,000 people.
Israel is the location of many holy sites for all three religions.
Sderot is less than one mile from the border with Gaza and has been targeted by thousands of rocket attacks. These have killed several civilians, caused damage to parts of the town and left many children traumatised.