Southern Israel Red Alerts in Alumim

Southern Israel Red Alerts in Alumim

Sometimes you have to get out of Jerusalem, Israel, to appreciate the view.

View from Highway One Jerusalem Israel

All this rain we have been having may dampen our spirits, but it is fabulous for making the countryside green.

View from Jerusalem Highway 1

From the roads leading out of Jerusalem the valley is at its best.

Israel lines along road

Once on the road south, you see flat land and wires stretched across it.

Southern Israel farm land from highway

Farmers working between the rain storms along the way.

Sign from Red South Israel spring flower Adom Festival

February and March, and southern Israel is famous for its red flower festival.

However, once again southern Israel has red alerts, not flowers.

Kibbutz Alumim sign southern Israel

The sign at Kibbutz Alumim was the same as  on our previous visit in December 2012.

Kibbutz Alumim security fence

The electric security fence was opened carefully for our arrival.

Kibbutz Alumim green fields southern Israel

The green fields of the agricultural kibbutz stretched into the distance.

Kibbutz Alumim fence with warning sign to border of Aza

But it you turned around, another sign warned of the Gaza border ahead.

Kibbutz Alumim view of Gaza southern Israel

From the fields of Kibbutz Alumim, the Gaza border and buildings beyond are clearly in view.

Kibbutz Alumim bomb shelters near factory

Because of missiles and rockets fired from Gaza at southern Israel, these bomb shelters are situated next to the factory. Workers have seconds to get inside to safety when a red alert warns of an oncoming projectile.

Kibbutz Alumim Iron Dome southern Israel

Alumim has two Iron Domes positioned for protection from Hamas and its rockets.

Kibbutz Alumim in spring southern Israel green

Why live in southern Israel? It’s beautiful. Israelis have made the desert bloom.

Aluim collection of rockets and missiles fired at southern Israel from Gaza

When Hamas is not firing these missiles, it is a wonderful place.

Long time resident Esther took time to share with us a bit of her story.

Southern Israel Kibbutz Alumim bomb shelter in home, bedroom safe room.

Rafi’s house, and every home, has a bomb shelter bedroom. Sealed rooms have again become a necessity with nightly rockets from Gaza.

Twenty years living under fire from Gaza. Esther and others try to keep a positive attitude, to make music chimes from missiles.

Kibbutz Alumim in southern Israel

Kibbutz Alumim had no red alerts when we were there last week, after a night of terror when a house in Sderot was hit. However, the newest round of red alerts included Alumim. The residents of southern Israel are weary, tired of red alerts, and want to go back to being known for their red flowers.

December, it’s Hanukkah in Jerusalem

Operation Pillar of Defense is over for most everyone,

wounded soldier

except for the wounded, and of course the families of those who were killed.

Iron Dome

The rockets destroyed by Iron Dome are less of a topic of discussion.

children playing in shelter, Sderot

Children in Southern Israel are no longer in shelters,

but have gone back to school,

Israel soldier

while their big brothers have returned to their regular military service.

Ethiopian children

The children of Kiryat Malachi still have a long, hard road ahead.

But enough of war and politics!  

The calendar has turned to December 

and Hanukkah is almost here!

strawberries

That means it is strawberry season

oranges

and fresh citrus fruit abounds in the Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk.

dreydels

Piles of dreydels are on display, 

sffganiah, donuts, suffganiot, jelly donuts.

platters of suffganiot, 

chaunkiah, street light menorah

and the streets are illuminated with colorful Chanukiot.

Chanukah bibs

Hanukkah is coming,

ready or not.

Iron Dome the Winner

After having spent two days in Southern Israel, 

I can state for a fact that the winner in Operation Pillar of Defense

was the Iron Dome.

iron dome

Those three puffs are not smoke, but each a destroyed rocket.

Hamas rockets from Gaza caused damage and deaths.

rockets were being shot at Southern Israel at a mind-boggling pace.

We only experienced one Red Alert siren while on the open road,

and missed the one in Jerusalem, Israel on Tuesday.

israeli tanks

We saw that Israeli tanks

israeli soldeer

and soldiers ready to respond to Hamas aggression.

soroka

Cameras recorded as injured Israeli soldiers arrived

at Soroka Hospital shortly before a cease-fire was announced.

The hospital was eerie, usually so busy, it was quiet.

 because of the barrage of rockets in Beer Sheva,

people were forced to stay home and off the streets.

The Hamas rockets from Gaza continued well after time to cease firing.

The press will disappear and the reserve soldiers will go home.

Who won in Operation Pillar of Defense will be argued.

But the Iron Dome proved over and over

to be a life saver to those living in Southern Israel.