Siren in Israel (Tzeva Adom – Colour Red), Bat Yam

You can say that it all started when three Israeli boys got kidnapped: Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrah were missing for 18 days and later found dead in northwest of Hebron (may they rest in peace). Later on, another boy was murdered Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The situation got worse: we are at war.

This is my story: My husband and I moved to Bat Yam about four months ago. On Friday the 4th, we got a cold (yes during the heat) and we were sitting at home the following week. Interesting enough… it was on 8th of July, I downloaded the app “Tseva Adom” which informs where the rockets are heading to. It was on 8th of July, my husband looked at me and said: “Im tehie hazaka, tilchi lemiklat” meaning: “If there will be a siren, go to the shelter”.
During the evening, I was doing the dishes and my husband was watching television when all of the sudden: the siren! Around 7.45 PM, my first siren experience for real started – (made Aliyah from the Netherlands, I have Swedish citizentship). Quickly, we put our shoes on and ran to the last floor. Unfortunatly, the shelter was locked. We saw a whole though between the bars, big enough for a child to enter or for “thin people”. We were five first (me, Igor, a woman and her child plus my neighbour which stayed on another floor at the stairs), and then the four of us heard “Boom! Boom! Boom!”
After that experience, we went back to our apartment and put on the news. Every channel (Israeli) was talking about the same thing: “Attacks! Rockets! Rockets in Tel Aviv!”
At 9:30PM (cannot tell the exact time anymore), another sound of the siren. This time I was more prepared and this time there were more people: children, mothers, grandparents. I got it on the video of the second siren of my life:

The next day, the third siren went in the area of Bat Yam. I remember that it was 10AM something – once we came back from the shelter. We couldn’t sleep anymore so we started to watch the news. We had the same routine in the evening: the fourth siren. I also remember (thanks to facebook) that after some minutes we heard a lot of booms… there was no siren but we knew that it was in the other town next to us: Rishon leZion.

10th of July, the siren woke us up again, 8AM this time. We put on the clothes and ran down. Humor alert: One thing that the rockets from terrorist have taught me is that I was really quick: I am not even a morning person! Following that day, there were two great booms yet no siren in Bat Yam. Of course we had siren number six in the evening. I even started to think that it would be two times each day until the seventh siren went on.

Siren number 8, 11th of July: Great booms! I remember that I started to be more activate by calling and writing friends around Israel groups on FB plus reading the news more and more. The Shabbat started, and at the stairs we meet families that were having a calm Shabbat dinner until siren number 9 started. Yes, we had siren #10 the same day, siren number 11 came along later.

On Saturday (7/12/2014), it was quiet in Bat Yam. We have been drinking tea without really getting out. We took a walk not far from our home and noticed that there were fewer people than usual.
After a hot day, we were at home with the television on all the time. We heard from different sources that Hamas said that they will fire at Tel Aviv at 9PM – they were serious. At that time, no siren was on in Bat Yam but we heard and felt the booms. We went down just in case – safety comes first. We actually heard the booms twice I can recall.

Sunday: It is a new week with new challenges. I was at home (going to work today) since my doctor told me to rest. My husband went to work so I was home alone. In the morning, he told me that he heard some booms but there was no siren. The time flies and I was still at home once I heard the siren go. I act quickly yet the siren became silence after 5 seconds. I looked outside and even open the door – none of the neighbours were there. I started to think that maybe it was from the television… however I felt a boom a few seconds later.
Time flies as usual and the siren started! Quick quick, down to the shelter! I was without my husband and with my phone this time. My husband calls in order to check if everything is okay – unfortunately, at his work they do not have any bomb shelter.
I remember the siren sounded for a long time.

This is my story at Bat Yam so far… As far as I know, not one rocket landed or felt in Bat Yam. It might be a small town but the people are affected. What is happening right now in Israel and Gaza is …

6/12/2014: Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrah: abducted
6/13/2014: Operation Brother’s Keeper starts (looking for the boys and arresting suspects)
6/26/2014: The three mothers went to the UN
6/30/2014: The bodies of the three boys found
7/2/2014: Death of Mohammed Abu Khdeir
7/8/2014: Rockets aimed all around Israel from Gaza and the operation Protective Edge starts (2 sirens)
7/9/2014     2 Sirens
7/10/2014   3 Sirens
7/11/2014   3 Sirens
7/12/2014   Boom!
7/13/2014   2 Sirens
14/7/2014   ?

I have lost the count of how many booms I have heard and felt. I do remember that a dog outside used to bark just before the siren. There are still rockets falling on Israel.

To be continued

About the Author
Born in USSR, raised in Sweden, made Aliyah from Netherlands. Talia prefers to speak British English. I am an educator and project coordinator at SJD (Swedish Jewish Dialogue). Also does reporting at SJD. We at SJD believe in history where Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people. Our mission: Support the State of Israel and fight against Antisemitism
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