Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday morning update

12:00 midday
The morning started off quietly, and in accordance with the Home Front Directive to stay close to shelter, we were busy cancelling today's planned interviews with the young ambassador (shinshin) candidates for next year. But then, since 9:30 am we have been running up and down the corridor to shelter with the other workers in the building under the stairwell.
It goes like this: Wail of siren, run, catch your breath while listening carefully, BOOM/Thud (of landing missile), back to your desk (all takes place in less than a minute).
One of this morning's grads fell in the center of Ashkelon, a few hundred meters from us on a building site. One Arab labourer was killed and 14 others injured, some seriously. The hospital is just a few hundred meters away from us, and the building site. We saw the smoke from the blast, from the verandah outside our 4th-floor office. Ambulance sirens and rocket-alert sirens intermingling.
[Over 150 rockets have been fired from Gaza in the last two days. The IAI is now also attacking Gaza, with one difference. The Hamas in Gaza are firing on us, trying to hit indiscriminate civilian targets. The IAI is trying to stop the attacks on Israel and targeting terrorists headquarters, hideouts and rocket missile launching targets as well as the underground tunnels used to illegally transport weapons. Sadly, civilians in Gaza will no doubt also be injured but Israel is NOT targeting civilians.]
There is no doubt that life in the city of Ashkelon has now been interrupted, and we are now feeling what Sderot has experienced, being under constant rocket attack for the last 8 years. We do not feel safe, and we pray for the safety of those who are taking action to protect us.
As I started to write this I heard yet another rocket-alert siren, now reports are coming in of a rocket hitting a public building, again just about 200 meters away from us. I'm thinking of leaving work and going home but I don't know which is safer - driving on the road or sheltering in a building with no safe place to hide.

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