Israel Under Fire – Again

The eerie ambulance sirens outside my window sound like old World War II movies set in Europe. But they are real, not video or fiction.

Here in Jerusalem, it is quiet. Perhaps too quiet for a Saturday night.

However, over 278 rockets were fired over Shabbat from Gaza into Israeli population centers. It is important to remember – at least 40 fell short, hitting Gazans. From the 2,900 rockets fired at Israel this past week, 450 fell in Gaza. They are killing their own. Also, the Israeli Electric Company will not be able to restore power to Gaza, because it is too dangerous now. Gazan rockets caused damage to their electricity supply.

Caterpillar Park in Sderot Israel for protection of children from rockets

In 2008, a cement caterpillar was built for the safety of children in Sderot. Frequent rockets from Gaza had made playing outside dangerous, now they had a place to shelter near their swings in the park.

I wrote about a visit south after attacks from Gaza three years ago.

Kibbutz Alumim bomb shelters near factory

Two years ago Kibbutz Alumim was under attack from Gaza. Their bomb shelters were placed closer to the factory entrance.

Sderot school with bomb shelters on field where children play

New schools built in the southern Israeli communities have multiple bomb shelters inside and on the grounds for children to seek a safe space.

Since 2012 I have been posting about raining rockets from Gaza.

Trips south to see bombed-out buildings much too frequent.

In 2012, seeing the Iron Dome at work for the first time was memorable,

but the new photos circulating of the iron dome at work are amazing.

At midnight May 16, 2021, a new barrage of rockets from Gaza was aimed at Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Tel Aviv, this was after multiple rockets during the days prior, day and night.

Sunday the IDF issued a statement: In response to continuous rocket fire at Israeli territory, over the last 24 hours, IAF fighter jets and aircraft struck over 90 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror targets throughout the Gaza Strip.

What is important to remember, there is no equivalency between the terrorists in Gaza aiming thousands of rockets at civilian populations from in civilian locations to cause as much harm, even to their own when those rockets fall short and kill Gazans, to the Israeli precision strikes at terror structures and proclaimed terror leaders.

Here is the hospital shelter we had to go to in Tel Aviv, including patients fresh from surgery who had to get out of their beds, during a siren alert.

Where will this end? No one knows. Israel is trying to destroy the underground network and infrastructure of the terrorists. If Hamas stops the rocket and missile fire from Gaza – it’s over – at least for this time.

I have been on the road when a supposed cease fire was declared in the past, and no surprise, more rockets were fired.

Rockets from Gaza have and continue to kill Israelis in their homes. The damage to families running to shelter night after night is hard to calculate. But with every rocket or missile, there is injury, if not physical, emotional and psychological.

The Shavuot holiday begins soon, and I will leave you with a photo of some of the flowers I saw in Tel Aviv. Time is short, so I will save the photos of the outdoor cafes filled with diners one night – and empty the next.

At least the pizza delivery guys were busy as people stayed in off the streets.

And to end with a tradition, this “Hatikvah” was at the conclusion of a ceremony at Yad Vashem, “The Hope” – for better times ahead.

חג שמח

Happy and safe holiday for all.

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.