This Ongoing War
08 November '11
A first-person account from the 4th November edition of the Hebrew-language Israeli daily Makor Rishon, by Hagit Riterman. The translation comes from the good people at dailyalert.org
600,000 Israelis live in the Beersheba [we prefer Beer Sheva] metropolitan area. Last Monday evening I was driving into Beersheba, listening to a song on the radio. Through the window I noticed a young girl running fast and looking scared, not sure where she was going. Suddenly I saw that all the cars ahead of me had stopped in the middle of the street. Their occupants were getting out and running. I understood - the air raid sirens. I ran with the others to take shelter between two buildings.
There were women there hugging the concrete walls. Some were crouched down, and one was shaking. Other sat on the ground. Then someone shouted, "Look up!" and I saw them in the sky. Two bright lights, like balls of fire with tails, almost white, flying in an arch in the sky, coming from afar. I thought they were about to land next to us, but the Grad rockets continued to fly and passed over our heads. We heard explosions and later learned that the Iron Dome missile defense system succeeded in shooting down the two rockets that were aimed at the center of the city. When I saw the two rockets flying in the air, heading towards us, seconds before they passed overhead, I understood so well the fear that people here are now living with.
We're not soldiers in wartime, we're the civilian population. And in the middle of an ordinary day, during a routine drive down the street, suddenly you see a rocket flying in your direction.
For a different standpoint, see this Defence Professionals article: "IDF soldiers operating an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery successfully intercepted on Monday evening (October 31) a Grad rocket in the Be'er Sheba region."
Additional scenes below from the Gazan bombardment of Beer Sheva three months ago (we reported on it here). They're all on display on the Zimbio site in a photo-essay entitled "Gaza Missiles Target Be'er Sheva In Israel As Tensions Rise".
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