- Posted July 23, 2014 by
Eshkol Region, Israel
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Living with Red Alerts
- rachel8, CNN iReport producer
In this clip, you will not see any blood or gore. Nor will you hear loud noises (although there COULD have been VERY loud noises - at times the artillery and cannon shooting, as well as the landing of incoming rockets, can be deafening). You will not see any rubble of destroyed houses - despite the fact that there have been more than a few rocket and mortar landings within my community during the past few days. Luckily, none of them have cause serious structural damage to anyone's home. Yet.
None of the above should be translated as meaning that life here, on Kibbutz Nirim, a mile from the Gaza-Israel border, on July 23, 2014, the 16th day of Operation Protective Edge, is “business as usual”. The fact that you will not see horrific sights does not mean that the situation is not frightening. It is. It is, at times, so unsettling and downright scary, that most of the people who live here usually, have left for quieter, safer places. You will not hear any children’s laughter in this clip. There are no children here any more.
Nor does what you see mean that the Hamas are not trying to kill us; to expel us from our homes in our Land of Israel. They are. They are trying REALLY hard. We have had 6 “Red Alerts” so far today, one while I was in the middle of writing this text.
What it DOES mean is that my government protects its citizens. The Israeli government has invested a lot of money in keeping me safe. They spent years, manpower and billions of dollars developing the Iron Dome missile defense system. The government of Israel invested a fortune and built reinforced schools (I work with three of them), and saferooms on every house of every person who lives within four kilometers of the border. They are now expanding that to all homes within seven kilometers. We all have beepers in our houses and public structures, that send out a shrieking whistle to warn us of an incoming rocket, and, as a double-safe, there are PA systems in each community to sound the alarm for those outside of their homes. There are public service announcements in all forms of the media, instructing citizens how to react responsibly and safely during a rocket attack. During this period of conflict, there are warnings that pop up on the TV programs, pinpointing which areas are getting incoming rockets, as well as announcements overriding radio programs, in case you are driving in your car. My government has invested billions of dollars, and is continuing to spend money, on reinforcing educational structures and hospitals.
My country cares.
Unfortunately, instead of infrastructures for living in a society that can thrive: building schools, housing, hospitals and other institutions to support residents in Gaza after the Israeli pullout in 2005, the Hamas government has invested the fortunes donated from around the world, in building mechanisms for death: tunnels for smuggling, bunkers for protecting their military leaders (instead of their children) and terror-tunnels, designed for carrying out kidnappings or deadly infiltrations into our communities here on the border. They store their weapons in schools, hospitals and mosques. Even when their citizens are warned to leave (“Knock on the roof”, or leaflets thrown out of an airplane, warning where the IDF are planning a strike, instructing civilians to get out and save their lives) the Hamas block their way. The citizens of Gaza are too precious to them - as human shields.
If the Hamas cared as much about the Palestinian people, as my government cares about the Israeli citizens, we could ALL truly live in Paradise.