Note to readers: Submitter Ann Hansen is a Mormon and an Israeli citizen, married with children and living in the Galilee. She is covering the Israeli bombings for this blog and other outlets.
From Ann Hansen: I am at work right now, but I will try to write more later.As of this morning we now have Israeli dead, including children. A missile fell on their apartment.Things are escalating quickly.
11/15/12 This article from Australian reporters on mission to Israel:
We were at a site commemorating Australian war heroes in southern Israel when
the call came through to get out fast.
What could be another war with global implications had started only kilometres from us, and the Australian embassy was warning us of rocket attacks. I and a group of Australian journalists, along with our guides and driver, were at the statue in Be’er Sheva marking the famous World War I exploits of Australian light horse infantry.
We had spent the early part of the day in a village on the border of Gaza, a village the Israelis say has been hit by dozens of rockets in the past few weeks alone.
Only hours before, Israel assassinated Hamas’s top military chief, Ahmed al-Jabari, we had toured the traumatised border town of Sderot. A group of young locals had shown us the bomb shelters attached to each dwelling, each school, each kindergarten, each bus stop.
They told us of living with the knowledge that they have 15 seconds to get to a shelter once the warnings blast from the loudspeakers perched throughout the town of 20,000. They showed us the shells daubed with the colours of various terrorist groups they say claimed credit for each attack.
They told us that tranquilisers are part of the daily diet of the children of Sderot. They told us stories of courage and resilience, moving us and evoking in me a feeling of profound compassion and respect – but also of concern and sadness that people should live in such trauma and tension.
They told us that they would not leave their homes and families under any circumstances.
After Sderot and before our final dash into the desert and back to Tel Aviv – where I sit in a hotel writing this and listening to television reports of the escalating, explosive situation and the Hamas threats that Israel has opened “the gates of hell” – we visited the Israelis living closer to Gaza than any others. Their kibbutz is literally on the Gaza border and the inhabitants told us they had been directly hit by Hamas rockets the previous day. We called them when we got back to Tel Aviv. They have evacuated. This time, it has become too dangerous even for them.
Michael Short is a senior editor at The Age.