The fourth day of Operation Protective Edge began with an early morning shooting from southern Lebanon aimed at Israel’s most northern town, Metula, which sits on the Lebanese border. No damage or injuries were reported. At this point it is still unclear who was behind this one sporadic attack. This shooting was the first from Lebanon since the beginning of operation Protective Edge.
Friday’s morning followed a busy night. For the first time Gaza rockets fired at Haifa. This was in addition to the “regular” daily bombing towards Israel’s south.
Later today three rockets fired from the Gaza Strip toward the Tel Aviv area were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. Rockets aimed at Israel’s center and south continued throughout the day. One hit a gas station and severely injured one person.
Right now we are praying for the safety of our soldiers who are about to embark on a ground operation.
We love our soldiers. When we see a soldier, we all feel as if he or she is our own child. Tens of thousands of reserve soldiers have left their families, work places, academic end-of-year examinations and normal day-to-day lives and followed the order to report immediately. They are ready to begin the ground operation, once the order comes. In the meantime they are gathered in temporary tent camps in the most basic conditions. Israel’s south is one of the hottest areas in the country with an average daily high temperature of 110 degrees. Nearby kibbutzim have invited these soldiers to use their showers and other facilities. Israelis from across the country have collected special care packages and other personal items to ease their stay and share the burden. We are so appreciative and we know how to show it.
As I’m writing this update, I’m listening to my favorite radio channel playing pre-Shabbat songs. This channel gives traffic reports on regular days, but for the fourth day, now reports on rocket hits. The broadcast has been interrupted every few minutes to announce where the sirens are going off around the country. Now I can only imagine how those living in these areas run, using the 15-60 seconds they have between when moment the siren sounds to when they must find shelter. This is surreal, but it is our reality, and beyond any comprehension.
By all means Israel is a modern, advanced western country. Unlike other western countries, we face constant, daily life risking threats that are beyond anything one can imagine. However, not for one moment do we lose our hope, our morals or our values. Israel is home in good and in challenging days.
JCC Israel Center