It wasn’t a shocking move. Those of us who have suffered almost two weeks of Hamas’s terror knew that a ground operation would have to come sooner or later. Hamas’s unwillingness to accept an Egyptian ceasefire agreement, an agreement Israel agreed to which was backed by both the Arab League and European Union, and Hamas’s insistence on continuing both rocket fire and attempted infiltration of Israel have left us with little choice.
The night the ground operation began the South suffered almost non stop rocket fire, and I recently discovered that a gas station that exploded due to a rocket was just down the street from Stephane’s mother’s house. His 11 year old little brother and mother were locked inside their bomb shelter when the explosion occurred seriously injuring one of their neighbors. That was the morning I woke up to rockets, and I went to sleep in the midst of a war…and more rockets.
The War Begins
In some delusional world I actually thought that maybe the rockets would stop once the ground invasion started… Hamas, however, continued its bombardment of the South, and Tel Aviv was hit twice. Each time some 6 or 7 rockets were headed for residential areas, and only some were intercepted. A rocket hit a house in Gan Yavne, a woman was injured, and countless others suffered from shock. I just managed to see the Iron Dome launch one of its rocket from my window before I could get the metal shield shut sealing up our bomb shelter.
The next day brought no reprieve from rockets, and the morning news left a whole country in mourning for the first solider who was killed within the borders of Gaza. Eitan Barak was a mere 20 years old from the neighboring town of Herzliya, and his precious life was cut short defending his people from the bitterest of hate and terrorism. Both he and his family were in the hearts of an entire country.
At around 6pm the first barrage of rockets hit Tel Aviv, along with the news that two of my co-workers, men who I dearly care for, would be heading into Gaza. One is about to get married, and one is a husband and father of three young children. I tried to think how I would feel if Stephane or my father were called to the fight, and I began to understand what true fear feels like. I’m not seeing a war on TV or in a movie. I’m saying goodbye to friends and loved ones who are going into battle a mere 40 miles away from my house.
I was in the middle of cooking Shabbat dinner when the second round of rockets came to Tel Aviv. Needless to say I said an extra prayer while lighting candles, and we prayed for quiet as we began the Kiddush.
Where is the line?
Today we woke up to more news of death and rockets, and crimes that are so unspeakable no halfway decent human could commit them. But then again it’s hard to view the Hamas fighters as human beings when they inflict so much suffering on not only their enemies but also their own people. A rocket struck the Negev today killing a Bedouin (Muslim) man, critically wounding his two moth old baby, and injuring his wife and other children. They kill their own Muslim brothers and sisters both inside and outside of Gaza, but I have a feeling the international news will remain quiet for anyone killed inside of Israel, and his family won’t here thousands protesting against his murderers. Yet this whole country mourned for them as if they were family, and our soldiers are upholding a pledge to protect every Jew, Muslim, and Christian living within the borders of Israel. It was a horrific tragedy.
A terror tunnel was successfully constructed that linked Gaza to one of Israel’s Southern cities, and masked terrorists were able to infiltrate Israel in the hopes of committing mass murders inside one of the populated Kibbutzim on the border. Though most were killed they took two of our brave soldiers with them, and official reports have just been released confirming that Sgt. Adar Barsano, 20, of Nahariya, and Maj. Amotz Greenberg, 45, of Hod HaSharon were killed in the fight. May they be at peace, and may God and an entire country of supporters comfort their families.
As I’m writing this, hearing explosions from my window of rockets headed for neighboring cities, I’m reminded of just how far Hamas’s depravity has grown. Today they strapped bombs to innocent donkeys, harmless animals, and sent them down a path to the Israeli Gaza border in the hopes that they would “blow up” a few soldiers. In the past they have also strapped bombs to both horses and dogs, and it seems to be a method that is growing in popularity. It takes a kind of sickness that most normal people can’t even fathom to strap a bomb to something as innocent as an animal, but then again when they hide weapons under hospitals filled with both the physically and mentally impaired, killing animals doesn’t surprise me.
These are the people the Pro-Palestinians are rallying for. These monsters are the people that hundreds and thousands of Palestinian supporters are cheering for world wide. These are the people killing the innocent Gazans, and putting rockets and weapons in UN schools and safe houses. These are the people isolating the Palestinian people from the whole of the world (including the arab world), and these are the people who give others orders to die while they are safe in their homes in the gulf states, enjoying their multi million dollar fortunes as their people die in the hundreds.
If there is only one video you should watch on this conflict, this is the one: Hamas, you are alone
Today Egypt closed their border with Gaza, yet again, and refused to let aid through. Not one Egyptian “hair will be shed to help Hamas”.
As we approach the end of Shabbat we are waiting for the sirens. They always seem to come…And we are waiting for news on the front; for news of our loved ones who are fighting to protect us. Hamas will not win. Now they are simply playing a dangerous, bloody game where their innocents are dying because of their lack of humanity and reason.
I miss you every second of every day friend, and I wish you were here to talk me through all of this. Keep watching over us all.
Until we meet again <3,