Israelis across the country have been sharing their experiences of life under rocket fire from Gaza.
"I live in Herzliya in an old building with an open stairwell that is unsafe during rocket attacks. During an Air Raid Siren, I have to run down 3 flights of stairs, and about 10 meters to our bomb shelter. Shrapnel has fallen not far from where I live. I am also a nurse in the Neonatal Unit at Tel HaShomer. During Air Raid Sirens we have to quickly get the babies in their cribs to the Protected Areas, and calm their parents. I made Aliyah from Philadelphia in 1987, and am proud to be an Israeli."
"If not for the Iron Dome, my house should have been blown to pieces by now,as the rockets come right our way. The Iron Dome is at the back of my house in a field, so many times running to our bomb shelter I see the incoming rockets and at the same time the Iron Dome intercepts them right over my roof."
"For me it has gotten to the point that every day I need to consider if a rocket may be fired at my town....I need to make sure I listen carefully when I’m in the shower because at any moment a siren could go off. I need to consider every morning when I wake up that a rocket will be fired in my area and I need to make sure I plan my day, yet while keeping in mind that at one point I may need to run to a bomb shelter...I don’t fear for my life but I fear for my sanity. Every day my phone buzzes reminding me that only a few miles away people are in danger, only a few miles away people want to kill me. At night I lay in bed as I watch the Internet complain about my home, I watch as people scream at me through usernames and URL links. At night I think about the people who can’t live in their homes anymore because Hamas fires rockets at their city every hour. At night I think about what the hell is going to happen here."
"The candles were lit and we were in the middle of Kiddush when my phone rang out “Tzeva Adom…Tzeva Adom” (Red Alert, Red Alert). The alert was for the neighboring city of Holon so the sirens didn’t ring in Tel Aviv. Stephane and I rushed to the balcony to check if we could see what was going on, and no sooner had we stepped out when we saw a Hamas rocket jet past the balcony… The explosion came seconds later when the Iron Dome downed it over Holon. Our quiet Shabbat never came."
Jordana, Tel Aviv
"Yesterday afternoon I took my kids with a couple of friends to a kibbutz near Modi'in to collect grapes and step on them to make grape juice. The perfect afternoon for the kids. We were having a great time. And all of a sudden, the sound of a siren filled the air. We were in the field with no shelter to run into. We gathered the children and hid under tables. I had...my youngest, who is a year and a half old, duck under the table and I laid on top of her trying to protect her head and mine, while my 6 year old, was hiding with the rest of the children nearby. Not being next to both my children and the uncertainty of whether (my son) was doing what he was supposed to in this situation was terrifying. We hid...until we felt the ground shake and the resound of a rocket hitting open ground. My first taste at this country's crude reality. I can't imagine a mother who has to go through what I went (through) yesterday several times a day."
"Two weeks ago, we had 3 sirens in a row...we all went down to the bomb shelter and then we felt some serious tremor in our home, all the walls were shaking and we heard the sound of shattering glasses. After 10 minutes, we went upstairs and we found a huge explosive rocket that miraculously didn't explode in our balcony, and yet caused some serious damage."
"Three years and it's my second war. I've left my apartment three times in three weeks because we're being bombed constantly. A kid playing soccer was nearly blown to pieces just a five minute walk from my house (my husband still refuses to translate the eye-witness accounts because it was so gruesome); a house 10 minutes from me was flattened the other day."
"The research I am involved in in Bar-Ilan University is looking at children with PTSD from Sderot. That is, trauma caused from the last bombardment of rockets in Sderot years ago. Ironically, and tragically, the research has been put on hold these last few weeks because of the current situation, where the children are reliving the trauma of their past – talk about a confounding variable."
Rachel, Tel Aviv