Sunday, August 28, 2011

Waiting For the Other Shoe to Fall.......
Once again, for the past week and a half, the cities and towns in Southern Israel have been under mortarkassam and grad missile attacks coming from Gaza.  

Large cities like Beer Sheva, [the capital city of the south] Ashkelon,the port city of Ashdod and the smaller communities,moshavim and kibbutzim have been bombarded with rocket attacks almost daily. One day, we had 90 rockets.

Over the past ten years that the south has been under siege, Hamas and other splinter groups have sent tens of thousands of rockets. Sedrot has a museum of rockets sent to their area.

When the incoming rocket siren goes off, you have between 15 and 30 seconds to find shelter. Shelter can be in the form of a street bomb shelter, a joint bomb shelter in the basement of an apartment building or in a store. Homes built after 1991 have a private safe room mamad in the house or apartment.

street public bomb shelters

In Beer Sheva and Ashkelon, the military has set up the air defense system known as iron dome  which has worked quite well intercepting short range rockets and keeping them from exploding. Because these iron domes are very expensive, presently we only have two in the south.This morning as I was posting this blog, the siren went off near Beer Sheva.

Homes have taken direct hits, cars have been destroyed, adults and children have been injured from shrapnel. Some injuries have been life threatening. Many citizens of the south both adult and children are suffering from shock.We have had deaths. One man died leaving a pregnant wife in her 9th month and two small children. Another tragedy were two couples going on a weekend vacation to Eilat. One of the couples were waiting for the birth of their first grandchild. And they stories go on... 

The sounds of the sirens and the booms from the rockets are so loud, your ears hurt. In my home, the windows and doors rattle when there is an explosion.  You can feel the vibration on the floor. 

One day last week, my family was rudely awakened at 4:40 a.m. by a warning siren. We have 15 seconds to go to the safe part of our home. We heard two explosions and about ten seconds later we heard another explosion.   
You never know when or where the next attack will be. It’s like ‘waiting for the other shoe to fall’. 

We have seen some miracles. In Beer Sheva, a school took a direct hit, causing extensive damage, but because it is summer vacation, no children or staff were in the school. I shudder to think the injuries or G-D forbid death that could have occurred if school had been in.  

On Thursday, the new school year starts. Parents will have just one more thing to worry about as they send their precious children to school. Will their school be attacked? My grandchildren's school in Kfar Maimon, has been on the receiving end of many kassams. Our children learn in fortified classrooms. 

In Ashdod, a group of men had just finished saying their morning prayers in a shtiebel [a small house of learning] when the siren went off. Most of the men  were able to get out, but several were still inside the building when it took a direct hit. A rocket came through the roof and lodged itself into the floor. Miraculously it didn't explode.

The debate goes on as to how to put an end once and for all to all the attacks. Military action or restraint. Our politicians debate, argue or point fingers but don’t really have any suggestions. All the while, us citizens are sitting ducks.

The Jerusalem Post  has this poll question.
How would you rate the government's response to terror attacks in South?

 Good, they eliminated attack's perpetrators without causing needless escalation
Bad, they should launch large operation to root out terror infrastructure in Gaza
Bad, they should show more restraint in the face of international scrutiny
Average, government response will neither improve nor exacerbate  situation.
I'm not sure 

As of this morning [August 28th] from a total of 29,621 votes. 

Try to find a diplomatic solution to reinstate the cease-fire.          8.04%

The only way to end the rocket fire is to eliminate the rockets and those firing them.                                                                                    80.69% 

Israel's neighbors should share responsibility for regional safety.   8.58% 

None of the above.                                                                  2.70%  

Do you have an opinion? Want to have your say? Write to our Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu  or the defense minister Ehud Barak  

They need to know what their citizens are thinking.

Until next time.......
Stay safe!

In the August 30th online edition of the Jerusalem Post there is a report that as of next week defense minister Barak will deploy a third iron dome near Ashdod. The report goes on to say that by the end of 2012, Israel will have nine operational iron domes.