Aftermath of rocket attack

For one Israeli mother, Gaza rocket fire will never be the norm

Opinion: Shiri Bachar, who lives close to the border with the Hamas-run enclave, explains what life is really like for a family whose days and nights are regularly disrupted by attacks from the Strip

Gan Yavneh is a small community within the range of missiles from Gaza. It's almost like we live a regular routine, except the kids stay home from school and we don't go to work.



We are tired. It's hard to get back to sleep after running to the shelter and back a few times. As soon as the siren starts, all plans go out the window and then we begin the "waiting game."


The Bachar family (Photo: Courtesy) (Photo: Courtesy Bachar family)
The Bachar family (Photo: Courtesy)


Friends are reporting that their kids slept in the shelter, but our Amit, aged 16, wants to sleep in his own bed. He promises to run right out when the sirens go off. Noam, aged 10, brings a mattress into our bedroom. She wants to sleep with us. She says she feels safer that way. We were hoping for a quiet night. Optimism is important. But the sirens kept blaring and we kept running.


 Rocket fire from Gaza towards Israeli communities (Photo: AFP)
Rocket fire from Gaza towards Israeli communities (Photo: AFP)


Optimism aside, I cannot sleep. My friend Dorit texts me to say she has finished her shift at work but is too scared to drive home. I call her and try to cheer her up. Then I hang up and go back to watching the news.


It's a new day, but honestly it feels like we are under curfew. Noam is being sweet. Keeps herself busy. She watches some television and urges us to play board games with her.


Some games are great. At first, I lose but I get better as time goes on.


"Mom," she says, "let's go to the store and get ingredients to make a cake."


A woman holds a child in the stairwell of an apartment building during a rocket attack in central Israel
A woman holds a child in the stairwell of an apartment building during a rocket attack in central Israel


But local authorities stress how important it is to stay close to the shelter, so we will have to make do with what we've stocked up on. We didn't really stock up. Maybe we will. I tell myself I should not use that kind of war-like terminology around her yet.


Amit wants to take our dog Luka for a walk. That would mean being away from the shelter and I try to explain the difference between what is important and what is crucial when it comes to walking the dog.


Some friends get together for coffee outside. I guess they, like me, have calculated the 45 seconds needed to get to a shelter. Three consecutive sirens blare as women and kids with coffee cups run to seek cover.


Noam and her friend Tahel are excited, they've just seen their first missile, overhead.


Iron dome intercepts rocket (Photo: Roee Idan)
Iron dome intercepts rocket (Photo: Roee Idan)

When evening comes, we are glued to the news again. We open the window to make sure we can hear the sirens. I know it will be another sleepless night.


It is different this time round. Above all, this time, we are waiting to hear from Omer, our eldest, who is in the armored corps and on the front line.


There are many nuances in the routine of an emergency. I can try to describe them, but I cannot accept them. This is an emergency and an emergency should not be seen, as routine.


I am longing for my routine, for better times, for us to be safe and for the soldiers to be home safe.


פרסום ראשון: 05.06.19, 21:29
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