The escalating violence
in southern Israel
has forced residents indoors, but has also yielded some ingenuity on the part of five local kids who found a way to keep in touch and trade war stories while grounded.
"It began during the previous escalation," Liron Be'er, 13, told Ynet. "The five of us met in an Internet forum that dealt with the whole situation in the south. We moved on to Facebook, and when we realized that the conversations don't end we decided to move on to Skype.
"We've become missile attack buddies," he added. "Any time the sirens sound in one city, we all hear it, so we experience everyone's sirens. Sometimes we hear explosions and run for shelter, although some of the boys' computers are in the protected space, so they don’t have to run. We laugh about it, but when the rockets explode near our cities, we worry about each other."
Three of the wartime buddies, who live in Beersheba, have met in real life. The other two reside in Ashdod.
"We created this group to keep us from getting bored," Be'er said. "We talk about every subject imaginable. I believe we'll set up a meeting once the situation calms down."
The spirited teen has also created a Facebook page where he posts reports about rockets that have been launched or have exploded. Over 3,500 people have subscribed to his updates.
"This is just another way to make it interesting," Be'er said. "I take many reports from private sources and friends. I also base the updates on Palestinian sources. I opened the page because the media doesn't report when rockets are launched, they only report the explosions."
Unlike Be'er and his friends, some kids must spend their time playing in their buildings' fortified stairwells.
"We go through it together with the neighbors," Pas, an ultra-Orthodox mother from Ashdod said. "The kids sit on the stairs and play."
Pas said that she has had to stay home from work to watch her kids, whose schools have been shut down due to the latest round of Gaza rocket fire.
"My employers are angry with me, but I have no choice," she said. "No babysitter would agree to come on a day like this.
"It's a bit of a war situation," she added. "We went out to see the Iron Dome. We're not supposed to, but we had to peek from the porch."