As the death toll continues to rise, the residents of Sderot in southern Israel are still reeling from the recent attack. David Michalowsky, a long-term resident of the city, described how they woke up to the sound of air-raid sirens, a common occurrence due to the constant threat of rocket attacks. Michalowsky explained that this was the norm in Sderot, as Israel’s home command activates procedures to warn residents of incoming rockets, giving them just ten seconds to find shelter.
However, on this particular day, the attack did not pass quickly. It was a continuous barrage of rockets with short intervals between them. Michalowsky and his community huddled in the bomb shelter all day, glued to the news reports of the unfolding tragedy. This attack was the most traumatic experience he had witnessed in his 37 years of living in Israel. He saw burnt cars, damaged infrastructure, and rockets hitting their targets. The constant fear and concern have taken a toll on him and his community.
Despite the destruction and psychological trauma, Michalowsky considers himself lucky. He and his wife are alive, unlike many of their friends, relatives, and neighbors. He personally knows individuals who were killed in this recent attack, making it one of the deadliest assaults since the establishment of Israel in 1948.
Or Bar-Ilan, another Israel resident, has also experienced the horrors of this conflict. She grew up in Kfar Gaza, a town situated just one kilometer from the border. When terrorists stormed into her community, Bar-Ilan managed to escape, but her parents did not. They were brutally murdered in front of her younger brother, who survived by covering himself with their blood.
According to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Daniel Hagari, at least 900 civilians have been killed by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad since the attack began on Saturday morning. Additionally, around 2,500 people have been injured, and 130 individuals are believed to be held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Many Israelis, including Michalowsky, are furious over what they perceive as a colossal intelligence failure. Michalowsky specifically blames Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not heeding warnings about the potential consequences of his judicial reform, which aimed to limit the power of the Higher Court. This move has divided Israeli society, with thousands protesting against it for consecutive weeks. Experts warned that this could weaken the IDF’s ability to defend the state, and now Michalowsky believes those warnings have proven true.
Looking ahead, Michalowsky predicts a worsening situation and a potential full-fledged war. He also acknowledges the complicating factor of the hostages held by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Despite the bleak outlook, Michalowsky remains resilient and confident in Israel’s ability to overcome this challenge.
Bar-Ilan shares a similar sentiment, vowing that the tragedies they have endured will not break their spirit. She cherishes her home and refuses to leave despite the ongoing conflict.
Over the years, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad have launched tens of thousands of rockets into Israeli territories, causing significant damage and loss of life. The attacks intensified after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
RT, a news outlet, aims to provide unbiased coverage of the conflict, presenting perspectives from both sides. For the reflections of Gaza residents on the recent events, readers can refer to the corresponding article.
In conclusion, the recent attack in Sderot has left the residents traumatized and concerned about the future. Despite the devastating loss of lives and infrastructure, the people of Israel remain resilient and hopeful that they will prevail in this conflict.