As a Sabbath observer I was not able to post until now (Saturday evening, Israel time). Last night, about twenty minutes after lighting the Sabbath candles, the siren in our small community went off. I did what I was supposed to do – I went into the “safe room” (every house built after 1993 in Israel is required to have a room with extra reinforcements built in) in our house, which happens to be our bedroom. I waited there for about ten minutes and then came out. My husband was at the synagogue, and he reported that when the siren went off they put the children into the safe room in the synagogue – and the adults stood under the eaves of the building.
The fact that it happened on the Sabbath complicated matters, as we do not use cell phones or other electronic devices, and we did not know how to proceed afterwards. People involved in public safety are allowed by Jewish law to use these devices, and they eventually told us that a rocket had landed in Gush Etzion, and that we could proceed with our regular schedule, unless the siren sounded again.
Our village is located in the Shomron (Samaria) and is relatively close to Ben Gurion airport and directly east of Tel Aviv. If the rockets fired from Gaza are a threat to us, and to the city of Tel Aviv, then the IDF must take serious action. I don’t say that because I view my life or those that live in Tel Aviv as more important than those in the southern part of Israel – G-d forbid. The IDF should have gone into Gaza earlier to take care of the terrorists. My point is that if both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are under threat then our very existence is under threat. Our financial center is in Tel Aviv, our hi-tech industry is centered on the coast, and the tourist industry depends on people visiting both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. I don’t think Hamas has any idea what it did by firing the Fajir rockets (the ones with the long range capability of reaching the center of Israel).
I cannot predict what the IDF will do exactly – but I can say that they are preparing the public relations war in a much more sophisticated way than ever before. I am using my Facebook page to help with this effort, and the IDF sends out information to disseminate on a regular basis. They are also using twitter in a positive way. Right now the IAF (Israel Air Force) is continuing to bomb sites in Gaza in a “surgical way” – attempting to minimize civilian casualties. I am not sure they will continue this way throughout the whole campaign – especially if the Hamas operatives hide in bunkers under hospitals.