"Minutes ago, a rocket siren went off in Tel Aviv. Everyone ran for cover. Our photographer just took this photo on a train as he took cover. Luckily for us, the Iron Dome intercepted the rocket" - source.
Our media seems to be happily indifferent to what is going on in Israel and Gaza. I found two pieces of news, between rumors of face lifting made by an aging cinema star and discussion of benefits of consuming raw beetroot. International news often look skewed, focusing on Israel's response. My news come from a handmade forum where I have Israeli friends, mostly women with children.
From what I understand, it was more or less quiet in Israel and Gaza recently, save for missiles routinely flying from Gaza to the south of the country. ("It is never totally quiet here, Eugenie" - says my friend). People are so much used to living under fire there - it is not even discussed, being sort of normal. And then of course there are constant attempt at terrorist acts, and constant counteraction by Israel. I do not know much about politics, but now I know something about my Israeli friends' daily routine recently.
This is what I read in our forum - just several quotes, those that touched me most of all.
"Children in Sderot lived under fire for years. They learned how to find a shelter whithin 15 seconds - this is how long it takes for a missile from Gaza to arrive".
"I look at my son and my heart drops. And I cannot just put my head in the sand... We do not have air raid alarms now and no other sounds, but it does not make things better".
"I did not take my son to the kindergarten today - their bomb shelter is too flimsy. He stays with me. He heard the sirens twice today and told me - it is emergency, a doctor is going to someone! And then I have to explain that it means danger and we need to hide".
"We went for a walk in the park and heard the alarm, so we hid under one of the houses (houses here are on pillars)".
"Today is a horrible day. There are many more missiles, and they are much more precise now; the Dome cannot intercept all of them".
"I am not afraid for myself at all, but I am watching the news... there is no end to this - only in our hopes, but not in reality".
"It is not possible to come to an agreement with these people. But we have no right to use the same methods which were used to the Jews throughout the history. It would justify all the atrocities".
They never say a word of hatred towards their neighbors - instead, they express regret and their desire for peace. And Israel still provides power, natural gas and communication services to Gaza. They also send food and provide healthcare.
They are asking me not to worry too much: "It is all right, Eugenie, we live like that all the time. It will become quiet again very soon; come and visit us. You will love the country - it is beautiful".
...My Israeli friends, my heart goes out to you. Thank you for remaining humans at all times. Thank you for serving as an example of courage and kindness. May peace be with you. Of course I will come - and I already love your country and you.