Israel at War 2006

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

Monday, July 17, 2006

The worst day yet!

July 17th 2006 16:20

Today, since this morning's posting we have had many sirens go off. Each time we are called to safe rooms and bomb shelters. I tried to write an email to a client for most of the morning but could not finish it yet.

It was becoming unnerving to have the siren go off so many times to be followed by loud explosions. More unsettling was the fact that there was no siren for the first set.. No early warning. In the last set the explosions were really loud and the building shuddered. One rocket landed in a park near our house that my son used to play in.

It was heartbreaking to hear the kids and mothers crying as they ran down to the shelter for the 4th time today. One child crying "Mommy!, Mommy!, Mommy!" After the explosions came without warning they are scared.

My girlfriend is leaving Haifa to go to family in Beer Sheva until the sirens stop. She is so keyed up that every loud sound sends her speeding for the shelter, TV remote control still in hand, screaming for her teenage son to hurry up.

In fact the town is earily quiet. Almost no cars in the streets except for emergency services and foreign and local news crews. The foreign news crews have large letters "TV" on their car windows - as if they might be shot by mistake - maybe they were in the West Bank or Gaza recently.

As I sat in the internal room I thought of my mother's stories of being in Budapest while the Allies bombed the city in World War II. I thought of her as a little girl and was filled with sadness. Now here is her son, 60 odd years later, also sitting in a bomb-shelter, with neighbors I rarely speak to.

Now everyone is chatting together.

I had to stop this post for another siren. Only three families left in the building. I see them in the shelter. Everyone has gone south.

A senior officer in the army says that the operation will be over in a few days.

Shalom,
Yves

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