Tags: gaza | hamas | rockets | israel

Israelis Sprint to Bomb Shelters When Hamas Launches Rockets

Israelis Sprint to Bomb Shelters When Hamas Launches Rockets
A security officer leads a dog as they patrol the hall past a sign directing passengers to a shelter of Ben Gurion International airport, near the Mediterranean Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on August 21, 2014, following a warning issued by Hamas's armed wing that they will target the airport. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Friday, 16 November 2018 12:33 PM Current | Bio | Archive

It is safe to say that most people living in Western societies have never heard the alarm that goes off signaling that an incoming rocket is racing towards you and your home. For that, be thankful. It is a horrifying experience. I know, I speak from experience.

Alone or with family there is no time to think and little time to act. Instinct takes over. You run to your safe room, if you have kids or pets, you grab them as you dash.

Over the past week Israel was hit by over 460 rockets incoming from Gaza. Again, 460 rockets.

The sky over communities near the Gaza border was lit up like the best of July 4th firework displays. Videos and still photos allow us to see what it was like, but unless you are actually there you can never know what it really feels like.

Each one of those 460 rockets could have murdered dozens of Israelis. That was their objective — to kill as many Israeli Jews as possible. Thankfully, to date, only one person was murdered by the Hamas rockets shot from Gaza in to Israel.

One person was killed by the barrage. Only one victim dead because of the onslaught of incoming rockets intended to kill Israeli Jews. And as fate would have it, that one person is Mahmoud Abu Asba, a 48-year-old construction contractor and not an Israeli at all.

Asba lived in Halhul, an Arab village one mile north of Hebron in the West Bank. He was a Palestinian. The irony can't be ignored.

Hamas terrorists try to murder as many Jews as possible and instead, they murder a hard-working Palestinian from Halhul. Asba would sleep in the Israeli port city Ashkelon near his work site during the week and go home on Friday to be with his family. At the time of his death, Asba was in Israel illegally.

The concept for safe rooms in Israeli homes was first concretized in 1990 during the Gulf War.

That was when Saddam Hussein, the sadistic leader of Iraq at the time, launched rockets into Israel almost every evening and, oftentimes, during the day, as well. A routine was established in each home. One room, a windowless internal room or hallway was stocked with gas masks and essential supplies and chosen as the home's safe space. After that time, it became mandatory for all new construction to have safe rooms. It costs more, but it's certainly worth it.

An unwritten code dictated how one's life was led during that period and, in communities near the Gaza border, continues until today.

First and very important, do not drink too much before bed. Second, go to the bathroom before going to sleep. Third, sleep in socks or slippers or have them close by. The floors in most Israeli homes are stone tiles and they are too cold for bare feet even in the summer. Fourth, be quick. Depending on the trajectory of the rocket you only have 30 to 90 seconds to spare.

There are, of course, other protective measures — measures taken by the defense and military establishment to protect Israelis. The most well-known of all is a defensive shield, it is called the Iron Dome. While it is extremely effective, the Iron Dome is not perfect and it, too, causes damage. The shield intercepts incoming rockets and destroys them, and several homes have been destroyed as the now-intercepted rockets fall to the ground.

Not everybody living near the Gaza border lives in a private home. There are schools with dormitories within range of the attack — and some of those dormitories were built before 1990. One school, for example, is Yeshivat Bnei Akiva Kfar Maimon, an all-boys high school where 10 percent of the students are immigrants who escaped Ethiopia and 10 percent are boys whose families fled anti-Semitism in France.

Kfar Maimon's dorm is not protected from rockets, but the school building is. So when the alarm sounds the students and their dorm supervisors grab their pillows and blankets and run across the yard into the school building. The boys studying in this school are brave — they are young heroes who come to learn and study and form friendships in a school that abuts the Gazan border and is in range of fire from Gazan terrorists.

The people shooting these 460 rockets into Israel and the people sponsoring and supporting the attacks want Israel to disappear. Palestinians have already wiped Israel off of their text book maps, but their real agenda is to wipe the Jewish State off all maps. They want Israelis to be frightened and leave.

But the reality is different. Families are building homes near the border. Parents are sending their children to learn and study and live near the border. They are making a commitment. By endangering themselves and by setting the example, they are hoping to keep the rest of the country safe.

And still, Hamas continues to claim that they shoot their rockets into Israel to defend Palestinians. They don't. They shoot to kill Israelis. They are murderers. And when they murdered one of their own rather than mourning the death, they berated and blamed Israel.

Note: The author is also the National Executive Director of Yeshivot Bnei Akiva.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.

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It is safe to say that most people living in Western societies have never heard the alarm that goes off signaling that an incoming rocket is racing towards you and your home. For that, be thankful. It is a horrifying experience. I know, I speak from experience.
gaza, hamas, rockets, israel
Friday, 16 November 2018 12:33 PM
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