The siren went off in Jerusalem about 45 minutes ago – according to the news, four missiles were launched towards Jerusalem, and 40 in all from Gaza to various places in Israel. I had heard sirens before, but they were for Yom ha-Zikaron or Yom ha-Shoah – not for missiles. I rushed out to the stairway, which is where you’re supposed to go if you don’t have a public shelter or protected space in your apartment to go to, and then I ran to the next staircase, because my friend Alexandra lives there. I ran up and very shortly after the siren went off, we heard two booms in the distance.It was scary, and I found myself afterward listening with one ear to sounds outside that could be a siren. There were no other rockets on Jerusalem last night, so I was eventually able to go to sleep.
This morning about 8:30 am rockets were launched at Tel Aviv, and people ran for cover. This is from my Twitter feed. (Read from bottom to top).
People in southern Israel, closer to Gaza, are having a very hard time now (and have been for a couple of weeks, intensifying a couple of days ago). They are exposed to many more missiles, because Hamas has lots of short range rockets. I feel anxious here in Jerusalem - I can imagine how frightening this must be for them.
I am also thinking about the Palestinians in Gaza, who are undergoing the terrifying air attacks of the Israel air force, which is bombing the houses of the military leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad (with the intention of killing them). when they bomb a house, there is no way to avoid killing any other people also in the house. The air force drops leaflets and sends text messages to the cellphones of people living in the houses, warning them that they're about to bomb, which saves the lives of some people, but clearly not everyone. There was a heart breaking report last night about a six-year old boy (Kenan Hamad) who was the sole survivor of his family. His father was a military leader and the bombing was intended to kill him. The family was warned by the air force, but they didn't leave the house. (There are similar heart-breaking stories from the last two wars between Israel and Hamas, in 2008 and 2012).