Two rockets have been shot towards Israel from Gaza so far this evening. I heard them both. No alarms went off, and it probably isn’t reported anywhere outside of Israel, and just a scrawny byline in our Israeli online news sites, because they fell short and landed within Gaza, or in an open field. Nowhere near newsworthy. Not on a day when a Palestinian woman tried to blow herself up in the morning on the Ma’ale Adumim road, a Palestinian sniper shot at a maintenance car fixing the border fence not far from here, and another ran over and then attacked people waiting at a bus stop outside a kibbutz in the center of the country. (Am I forgetting anything? One act of violence bleeds into the next these days… making it hard to keep track… this is DEFINITELY not normal, on SO many levels.)
I am winding down to go to bed… and as I do, I wonder: will that be it for tonight? Is the rocket-quota for these 24 hours, spent? And what about the attacks, in general, around the country? Has this day’s ration of terror depleted?
What a terrible way to be living. It was bad enough when it was just us – here in the Western Negev, on the border with the Gaza Strip. Winter 2009, Fall 2012, Summer 2014. Then friends and relatives from all around the country could invite us over to stay, for a night, or longer, at least to get away for a bit. Because there were places where people could feel safe. Not that I actually took them up on their offers (aside from the first war, before we had our safe rooms). I’m stubborn that way, I have to see for myself that all is well here at home. And this IS my home – I’m not going anywhere.
But these days, we all experience the fear, on one level or another. And we will continue to do so, until our government leaders sit down to talk about it. Until they come up with a plan, a horizon that can give us hope – on both sides of the border.
And if I go to bed afraid, I shudder to think about how the friends I have made in Gaza are feeling this night. Yes, I have friends who live in Gaza, with whom I communicate through Facebook, and who object to this violence and want it to end as much, and even more, than I do. Not all Gazans are rocket-launching Hamas terrorists. The ones I know are frightened citizens, just like me, who want to have safety for their children. They do what they can, but they do not live in a democracy like I do. I send them my thoughts, they are always in my mind – every time I hear an explosion in the night. I would pray if I were the praying type. Instead, I send good thoughts and wishes to them via the Universe.
A mother and child were killed last night in an IDF retaliation. I am not saying that we do not need to protect ourselves, we do. I am not criticizing the army that protects me. I still trust and believe in them to do everything they can to spare innocent lives. But these two were innocents who just happened to live in the wrong house, next to the really wrong house, at the wrong time. I mourn their loss.
Here, on my side of the border, I go to bed, and lock the doors (although a good strong kick would knock them down in a split second), and I have my dogs (they are puny, but they make a lot of noise, and would at least herald approaching infiltrators). I do not close the windows. Not even after hearing a not-so distant explosion, even as I write.
Well – just the iron one; I’ve closed the iron window on my safe room in case I need to run there …
Such is life on both sides of the border these days…..(and elsewhere in this little land) just thought you should know.