Israel at War 2006

Life in Haifa and north of Israel during the 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Day 11, July 22. Haifa eerily quiet

23:30 PM

Was very tired after the last couple of stressful days of running around trying to arrange Yarden's passport - I was feeling very discouraged. I only slept 4 hours last night. But I managed to sleep a little this afternoon and am feeling better.

I arrived back yesterday from Tel Aviv and as I was driving up the hill, I heard the radio announce incoming rockets and looked for a place where I could pull over and take cover. I went into a covered parking lot. After about 15 minutes and not hearing any rockets I got back in the car and drove back to the house.

As I got out of the car, I again heard the slow wail of the sirens. There are a few that we can hear and when they stop, they don't all stop on cue. One trails off, and then the other, like uncoordinated ghosts. I went from the car straight to the shelter in the basement.

Waiting there, visibly stressed by the danger, was the only resident of the building left in Haifa. Everyone else has left. Avi is a nervous 38 year-old store owner. He said one rocket blew up on building away from him. One of his employees went into complete hysterics.

Calanit, my usually calm and cheery assistant called me today to see how I am and to tell me that she is leaving on vacation a week early. Her voice also audibly shaky. She has been at home for a week with her two kids, her British husband Bill, and her mother.

At dusk, I went for a walk with the dogs. The streets are nearly empty and deafeningly quiet - ahuge contrast to the normally boistrous typical Israeli street. My impression is that it is mainly men who are left behind. The parks and school yards in the neighborhood are completely empty. On Friday nights, the park accross the street is usually full of rowdy teenagers. Last night it was deadly still. In fact, I haven't heard a child's voice in Haifa in days. That is, in some ways, an improvement over the heartbreaking crying of children as they run down the stairs to the shelter as I hear at the beginning of last week.

Bizzare nature note: One smart street cat (or cat with street smarts) has learned to run into the shelter when the sirens go off.

The sirens went off about 8 times today and we heard the stragely low vibrations of rockets falling. Each time I went into my safe room or went down to the shelter. It becomes very hard to get anything done.

I find myself now constantly thinking where will I go for shelter if the sirens go off while I am out in the street.



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At 24 July, 2006 05:43, Blogger metz said...

Keep it up Yves, your blog is definitely more interesting and informative than media coverage. I will wait for an e-mail at work when you feel like we have a need to discuss any business. Stay safe and talk to you later.


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