- Posted July 12, 2014 by
Eshkol Region, Israel
This iReport is part of an assignment:
New violence in Israel and West Bank
I have written earlier reports depicting how this escalation affects my life as a longtime resident of this region. Today I want to depict a threat that is not as publicized in the press around the world as are the threat of rockets.
We have been living under fire here, in the Eshkol Region of the Western Negev on the border with Gaza, for 11 years. But for the past five days, we find ourselves in the crossfire of Operation Protective Edge. Well – not REALLY in the crossfire. It just sounds like it. The tank fire we hear so loudly that it shakes our walls (and our internal organs) is not threatening us – it is protecting us… but the sudden shelling does nothing to calm the nerves of those of us who are SO close to it.
The threats we live under are the rocket (Kassam) and mortar fire that threaten us numerous times daily, as well as the even more sinister threat of the tunnels which have been dug from Gaza into Israel.
My daughter (the one who got married just seven days ago, and whom reality forced to change her wedding venue in order not to endanger our guests) has lived with a fear of terrorist infiltration, since she was a young child. At the time, we used to tell her that we are well protected and that infiltration is not a realistic fear. Albeit, our community is only two kilometers away from the border, but there is a significant protective fence all around it, gates with guards at night, and army who patrol and watch over us using special radar equipment, detecting any movement around the border fence.
That was then.
These days the fear of infiltration is a much more realistic one – one that is not as publicized around the world. People know that Israel has an embargo on building materials. What they do not understand is that the purpose of this embargo is NOT to prevent Gaza from building houses. It is to try to suppress the building of tunnels that start in Gaza, and have multiple branches leading under the protective border fence, leading out into the fields that surround our communities. The even more distressing fear is that a tunnel will be built under the fence of one of our communities, or near enough by that terrorists could easily infiltrate our homes. Sadly, these days, this concern is not unrealistic. And even if this Operation Protective Edge ends in the coming days, the very real threat of the tunnels will remain with those of us who live here – so close to the border.
If you are interested in keeping up with what happens here on the border, please join our group on Facebook: Life on the Border with Gaza- things people may not know (but should).