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    Posted July 27, 2014 by
    Quiryat Ono, Israel
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    New violence in Israel and West Bank

    My Story, My Country

    Due to recent events in the Middle East I feel as I, an Israeli citizen, have the duty to tell others who don't know or understand the current situation and how it is.

    Just so you know, I'm not picking sides. All I want to do is let people know what is going on in my home, the country I love unconditionally.

    Over two weeks ago missiles were fired from Gaza onto cities in Israel. When you live far away, you only hear about these kinds of situations, unable to understand and comprehend what is really going on and what it feels like to be caught in the middle of it. But now, as I experience it first hand, everything is different.

    The first time I heard the siren was the first day of the war. I wasn't at home and I did not know what to do or where to go (I haven't practiced drills for this kind of situation since 4th grade). Luckily I was with my brother and grandma, who unlike me (who was in shock) took charge and told me where to go and what to do. They took people from the street and invited them in to stay safe. I will never forget the feeling of panic that came over me that day.

    The current situation has made my vacation a completely different experience. Whenever the siren goes off it means missiles have been fired on us and we have 90 or less seconds to find shelter. I immediately think of my family and the places they live at, making my heart lurch into my throat and I feel the need to call and make sure they are all safe and sound.

    I don't feel safe walking around my neighborhood, the place I grew up in, the place where my loved ones live. I know that any second there could be a siren and I would not be able to reach a safe zone in time.

    One night the siren blared and I sat in the safe zone with my five-year-old brother, my mom and I talking to him in hope that our words are a distraction and that he won't understand what is going on. He's only five and is already asking why the bad guys don't like us and keep sending bombs to where we live. I have no answer to his question because I keep asking myself the same thing.

    Knowing you are not safe in your own country, in your own home, is the worst feeling imaginable.

    Me? I only have 10 more days here. My family? They live here and they have to deal with all of this on a day-to-day basis. There are cities in Israel where their children are born into bomb threats, chaos and sirens blaring all around. Those children haven't experienced peace or a calm and safe environment to grow up in.

    Those bombs are not aimed at destroying the military or killing the soldiers. They are aimed aimlessly to create destruction and harm citizens. Lucking we have the best defense system and forces that have saved my life and my family's life countless of times.

    When I hear about this in the news I realize how privileged I am. How when the world hears about what Israel does to the other countries, they don't take into consideration the reason why they do it and how my people feel. They don't consider the hurt and the pain my country is experiencing.

    I'm not saying there is one right side while the other is wrong. I just want to be heard and to let you understand what is going on. Informing you that the more people that know what is happening in the Middle East means the more people that might care.
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