March 13, 2012

Rocket fire on civilians

Yesterday one of my professors came into class and seemed a bit scatter-brained. She is a young Israeli woman, probably in her 30's, with small children. She lives south of Tel Aviv, and drives 40 minutes to the University to teach. She explained to us that for the last several days she and her family had been living with the rocket attacks coming into Israel from Gaza. Schools in the south have been closed since the attacks began, and for the four days prior she and her family have had to retreat to their bomb shelter (which nearly every Israeli residence is equipped with) once or twice an hour when they heard the warning sirens, wait for the bomb to fall, and then go back to their daily life. What can this be like? Well, here is what it's like:

So while I've been living in a hazy strand of Purim parties in Tel Aviv, Israelis living in the south of the country have been dealing with the near-constant barrage of rocket attacks from terrorists within the Gaza Strip. 

Since Friday (today is Tuesday) 303 rockets have been fired from Gaza directed at Israeli civilians, and 165 have landed on Israeli soil. Yesterday alone, while I was in class and complaining about a cold, 42 rockets struck southern Israel, and 23 more were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome defense system.
(for updated stats click here)

Thankfully, Tel Aviv is a different reality than the small towns just south of here. Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups in the region have the military capability to strike TA with these rockets also, but everyone seems to agree that they aren't (and won't) because of political and strategic deterrents. Probably, this recent activity is a test of Israels defense systems, and things will quiet down soon.

 A quick survey of headlines on,, etc. shows me things like this "Israeli Airstrikes Hit Gaza a 4th Day". This makes it seem like Israel is the aggressor in this situation.
And that is simply NOT true.

Is Israel the bad guy for conducting air strikes against the terrorists raining rockets down on her civilians? Just take a minute to consider that what you read in the news could possibly be a skewed version of reality before you believe the picture they've painted for you.

Oh, and for those of you back home who are worried- don't be. I'm safe. If I get an email from the State Department saying to leave, I will. But I don't anticipate that. And I'm not traveling to the south anytime soon.

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