“It’s not scary because nothing terrible has happened yet but it’s something you can’t get used to. It’s crazy.” In Gaza, Israeli strikes have left a trail of devastation, with more than 200 people dead in just over a week of fighting – a quarter of them children, according to the United Nations. Southern Israel has experience with the dangers too, battered for years by militant fire from Gaza that has caused deaths and frequently sends residents rushing for safety. But in central Israel, residents have long cultivated a sense of distance from the region’s conflicts – and their main concern now appears to be that it not be shattered. Residents are struggling to decide whether to carry on with their routines or take emergency precautions, whether to keep up with the nonstop TV coverage of the fighting or tune out entirely for their own sanity. Parents are debating whether to rush their children to shelters at the sound of each siren or take their chances but not convey panic.
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Israelis in central heartland face new fears as they adjust to life under rocket threat | Fox News
“As a mother, I am always worried,” she said. “I know the chances of being hit are so small but I still think my kids are going to need treatment someday because they are scared all the time.” Yotam Dagan, the director of community outreach at Israel’s Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War, said the fear was warranted. He said research showed that some 20 percent of those exposed to large explosions would develop some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, Israelis and Palestinians alike. For most it would be fleeting, though, and he said Israelis have evolved since a wave of suicide bombings a decade ago. “Our communities are much more resilient than 10 years ago. We’ve learned to move from normalcy to emergency in minutes,” he said. “Israeli society is getting more mature but when a missile lands near you it takes something out of you.” Alroyee Ben-Tzadik, 35, said he promised his wife that he would head to shelter in case of a siren but defiantly said he would adjust easily if the attacks became commonplace.
More: Israelis in central heartland face new fears as they adjust to life under rocket threat | Fox News
Life in a war zone: Yad Vashem and sirens | Cover Story |
But we really dont have a feeling of danger so much as annoyance, at least in the center of the country and up north where citizens have time to respond. In the south, the arrival of rockets is just a matter of seconds. At Kabbalat Shabbat services after Mincha, a gabbai rose and calmly announced: We have have no shelter. The safe room downstairs is for women and children, all others should move to the center of the room and away from the windos if our Shabbat peace is disturbed. No panic, a simple, clear statement. Former Labor leader Amir Peretz, who was scorned as defense minister when he looked through binoculars at the wrong end, is suddenly a hero because, against the advice of more experienced military leaders and politicians, he insisted on creating the Iron Dome, which has worked marvelously. He is the only political leader looking good right now. A new situation has developed. So Israel has time to inflict damage on Hamas.
Read More: Life in a war zone: Yad Vashem and sirens | Cover Story |