- Posted July 17, 2014 by
Eshkol Region, Israel
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Kibbutz Nirim, on the border with the Gaza Strip
It’s 5:40 am, Thursday morning, July 17th, 2014.
We are just hours before an agreed humanitarian cease fire, set to last for five hours, starting at 10:00. It could lead to a longer lasting ceasefire or… to an escalation. It is a well known fact that just before a cease fire, the Hamas’ aim would be to get a hit that would be spectacular and painful; a strike that would enable them to make the statement: “Israel is ceasing fire because it is weak, surrendering, giving in”.
It could also (if they are successful) knock any chance of ceasefire right off the table.
At 4:40 everyone who lives in this community was sent a text message that there is suspicion of infiltration in the area, and for us not to leave our houses. (Well...I wasn’t planning to do so at 4:40, anyway - but thanks for the “heads-up”;-)
One of our greatest fears in this area, together with the deadly rockets and mortars which usually come with a 10 second warning - but sometimes explode unannounced, is the knowledge that Hamas have used building materials that they have managed to smuggle into the Strip, not for building homes, rather for building tunnels of terror that lead up near or into our borderline communities, in order to carry out a terror attack or to kidnap civilians or soldiers.
Just before 5 a.m. those of us who live in this area received a text message from our regional security that there is a possibility of infiltration somewhere in our region.
So here I sit, after having followed all instructions: I’ve closed all my windows (I do not have shutters on all of my windows….but that’s the best I can do), I’ve locked my doors. In short, battened down the hatches, and sitting in my saferoom bed, listening to the sound of what seems like tank shooting outside. The truth is, anyone cold easily kick down a door or break through one of my large windows, and gain quick and easy entry to my home.
In fact, from what I understand, the suspected infiltration is miles from here, but the fear is always that there will be more than one terror attempt, so that as one incident is getting everyone’s attention, another set of terrorists can infiltrate under the radar, as it were, and succeed to pull off a deadly ambush while the main efforts of the security forces are focused elsewhere.
As I sit here and listen to the noises outside, (different kinds of tank shelling …..a real war zone) and wait for the all clear (the optimistic side of me), and hope that my house will not be the one that gets broken into (not likely - but at times like these, the imagination runs wild and worst case scenarios take my brain hostage) I am grateful for a few things.
First: that the families with children who live in my community, are still away. There are no children here in the line of danger. Secondly, that my son is away from the kibbutz. Not that he’s a child, but as a mother I would be worried about him in his little apartment, which is right in the corner of the kibbutz, on the fence. Thirdly, I am grateful that my daughter, although I am sure she is truly petrified at these very moments as I write, (she sent me a text message to be sure I was aware of the situation and was following instructions from the army, to the tee) is at least with her new husband, who is tall and strong and reassuring for anyone to be around.
There is nothing about it in the news yet, where they are talking about the impending ceasefire, acutely aware that the Hamas could send out a spectacular number of rockets, or pull off a terror attack, (as they are apparently trying to do now, here, in our area) “to make their point” pre-ceasefire. So I cannot publicize this yet. It would be considered a breach of security and could endanger lives. Seriously.
It’s 6:13. We are still in lock-down. It is getting lighter and lighter outside (I know because of the hour - not because I can see outside - I am closed in my saferoom, with the iron window shut tight.)
6:35 - As someone who lives here, watching tv, knowing what I know, I can tell from the way they are talking, and how they are looking at their phones, that the broadcasters KNOW that this is going on, but have a gag order and cannot yet talk about it. More than an hour and a half after it started. An interesting (and frightening) insight of how the entire system works.
I am not REALLY scared that terrorists will choose my doors to crash down, and invade, killing me or taking me as hostage, torturing me along the way. I was never very “lucky” at raffle sales, or Lotto…..so why should my number come up now? (Not that I am taking any silly chances….. I am following instructions explicitly.)
I AM worried about others. If the security forces do not stop them before they manage to fulfill their plan of infiltration, someone (or many someones’) could be experiencing something that will change life as they know it, forever, even as I type.
7:28. More than two hours after we were notified of this situation - still not word about it on TV.
8:25 - It's just gone out on tv, so I can post this: a large group of terrorists (13) had tried to come through tunnels - some were killed, some managed to escape back to Gaza
Note: The selfie here is me in my bed in the saferoom, writing this report, before we were given the all clear to leave