Voice’s from around Gaza’s border

In the words of an Israeli mother of two living in southern Israel, (posted on a social media website) “we live in fear for our very lives while living in our homes, we do not know when the next terror attack would take place or rocket been fired from Gaza. While those of you abroad train your kids to learn skills and study safely, ours are taught how to flee into bomb shelters once the sirens are heard.”

While everyone slept in peace the previous night, several were awoken by the sounds of mortar shells and rockets been fired into southern Israel on May 29. Sirens could be heard around several villages near the Gaza strip, as Israeli’s fled into the various bomb shelters for refuge.

A wife and mother, while describing her experience, wrote “I felt like i had gone deaf or mine ears had began to ache me, i felt more worried for my husband and son who weren’t at home, and contemplated calling to ensure their safety but at the same time, didn’t wish to make them worried too…(expletive)”

Residents of southern Israel live years in a day, and a day in years. While the members of the Idf immediately respond to threats around Israel’s border, most Jews are not prepared for the emotional effect of another war, “We don’t want a war” a majority of those interviewed have said “we wish to live peacefully with the Palestinians at any cost whatsoever.” Some may say, ‘the Jews have a strong defense force as compared to the Gazan terrorists,’ yet war is war and the worry over one’s relation, near kin, or sibling is enough to keep eye’s sleepless for days.

The situation in Gaza has gotten again to a climax, the highest form of tensions it has been since the last war in 2014 dubbed ‘Operation protective edge.’ Sirens sounded almost throughout the day, while several Israeli’s were injured by the shrapnels from the Iron dome. Though the Idf responded furiously, several more lives would have been lost, ‘Thanks to the effectiveness of the Iron dome missile defense system.’

This is not a protest, this is war. An attack on free citizens going about their normal routine and trying to live their lives isnt a way of protest. The very fabric of the Jewish identity and freedom itself was attacked, no one deserves to live under such conditions.

Amidst the previous day’s tensions, while an Israeli kinderganten in an Eshkol region community near the Gaza strip opened normally (as reported by the times of Israel website) a teacher who spoke to reporters said “I told the kids our kindergarten is the safest place in existence, they know that in case of danger at home they run to the safe room, and here the entire place is reinforced… They ask what is a rocket? What is it made of? They say they saw what happened outside, while they were on their way here, but on the other hand we are sticking to the routine…”

Obviously these kids require assurance of their live’s safety, these innocent children do not deserve been attacked either physically or emotionally. However, since the end of the 2014 Gaza war, neither adults nor kids have been spared from either experiencing terror attacks or attempted ones. For example, in July 2017, while a family had gathered for a friday night shabbat dinner to celebrate the birth that morning of a grandchild, a 19 year old terrorist from a nearby Palestine village, burst in armed with a large knife, stabed and killed the grandfather of 70, his daughter and son, amidst the presence of little kids who were rushed to a nearby room and locked in.
This barrage must stop. The world has to know, kids must be given the right to live lives free from threat, free from rocket fires, free from sirens blaring. The kids in southern Israel aren’t different from their friends around the globe, they deserve the right to a homeland, they deserve peace and freedom.

While the world joins in condemning the attack on Israel’s civillian population by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, we must remember that Jewish kids too deserve a better life, they deserve comfort and emotional stability, this must not be gamed at or sidelined as a result of the political tempo around Israel. ‘Our kids are becoming endangered, and this isn’t good for the world.’

About the Author
S Ovwata Onojieruo is a Theologian and Political scientist, with major interest in Political theory, Middle-east politics (especially as it affects the Jewish state), and international relations. He currently works as an High school tutor/debate coach, and can be reached on twitter @OvwataS
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