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ISRAEL/ In Tel Aviv, under the stairs, the fear of a continual war

Israeli music teacher ARNON ZACK recounts his experience of the attack on Tel Aviv by Hamas, and talks about the effects that living in constant fear has on a person.

Israeli children in a bomb shelter Israeli children in a bomb shelter

Arnon Zack is an Israeli citizen who lives in Tel Aviv. Last Thursday, like all his fellow citizens, he found himself living the dramatic experience of being under attack from Palestine, when a missile reached the area near the Israeli capital. “Israel is a very depressing place to live today. It had been twenty-one years since an episode like this had happened in Tel Aviv, but in other parts of the country, people live with this fear every day”. Arnon, a music teacher, sent Ilsussidiario.net his story and his testimony of a day of fear.

It had been twenty years since the time when I used to go to sleep with the fear that the alarm sirens might sound. It is not a fun thing. Although we knew very well that Hamas had missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv, what happened last week caught most people by surprise. There were no episodes of panic in the streets, but people went immediately to look for places to hide. When the alarm sirens sounded, I was giving guitar lessons to a 15 year old boy at his home. We went to hide in the staircase, the safest place in the building, and we waited a few minutes.

I personally did not hear the explosion, but other people did. The missile did not hit the city, but fell a few kilometers to the south. The people of Israel live in constant fear. Over the past twelve years, the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip have continuously launched rockets at the Israeli population. Initially, the town of Sderot was hit, as it is only a kilometer from the Gaza Strip. After some time, thanks to the long-range missiles, they also began to hit the city of Ashkelon, about seven kilometers from the Gaza Strip. Over the years, the range of the missiles has become wider and wider, and since 2008, they have begun to hit even the city of Ashdod, which is about twenty kilometers from the border.

It is a dramatic situation. There are kids who know no other kind of life than a life under the constant fear of missiles. About 25% of these children are affected by the shock of the missile shelters. They are suffering from anxiety, and are terrified of sleeping alone. Who could live in any country in the world for twelve years in this way? No one wants to live twelve days in this situation. Today in Israel, both people on the political right and those on the left support the decision to hit Hamas’ rocket stores.