Roey Tshuva, BZD ShaliachThe writer is a shaliach (emissary of Israel) in the Baltimore Zionist District, the largest independent Zionist organization in the world.
For the last two days I am sitting in my office or home close to the computer and cell phone trying to collect as much information as I can, I know that many of you are reading the news watching TV and trying to understand the complicated situation.
As an Israeli, I want to share my thoughts and feelings with you. Should I tell you about my best friend's kids that are not going to school and about parents that must explain to 4 and 7 years old kids (the 6 months old cannot understand yet) why there is no school and practice where to go when you hear the siren.
Should I tell you about my parents who just joined the circle of rockets in Rishon Le Tzion? I can't stop thinking of what would be happening if I was in my hometown Gedera, and this is the picture I keep seeing: siting home with my wife and two kids, no school no work, getting my protected room ready with portable mattresses, some water and flashlights; trying to explain to them why we can't go outside or visit friends, listening to my wife's quiet praying not to get the scariest phone call from my IDF unit calling me to join the effort.
I couldn't stop myself from picturing my young daughter when I heard of the 2 year old girl wandering the streets of Kiryat Malachi after a missile hit the building she lives in, after her father and brother were taken to the hospital.
I'm writing these words and the news from Israel keeps coming and changing every second, the sirens are all over now and it is the first time since the Gulf War that there were sirens heard in Tel Aviv.
I know, some of you say Israel is strong, I even heard people say that if Israel wants it can stop it, so I'm just asking you to imagine that every year, our neighbor Delaware shoots about a thousand missiles and bombs at Maryland. Every year! Sometimes 100 in one day! There is no school, no work the kids become hysterical with every fire fighter siren, infants are getting injured and people are even dying.
What would you do?
Sound imaginary? This is how almost a million people are living - for years now, in Israel.
Please take the time to read the following information that I collected from different sources and think what would happen to any state shooting only one missile to the USA or any other country.
The current crisis began on Saturday when an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza struck an IDF jeep near the Karni crossing wounding four soldiers, two seriously.
An IDF force patrolling near the Karni crossing, inside Israel, sustained a direct hit by an anti-tank missile fired from a location east of the Gaza Strip neighborhoods of Zeitun and Sajaiya. Two soldiers suffered serious injuries and were airlifted to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba. Two others were rushed to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon in moderate condition, suffering from shrapnel wounds. The IDF responded to the source of fire.
In the last week alone, Hamas, a terrorist organization, has launched 150 rockets at Israel's south, and carried out three cross-border attacks. Israel has decided to respond with targeted strikes against those responsible, and to impair its terrorist infrastructure. Israel cannot tolerate the escalation of rocket fire aimed at its citizens. The IAF seriously impacted Hamas's long range missile capabilities and underground weapons storage facilities.
As part of Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel targeted the head of the Hamas military wing, Ahmed al-Jaabri, who planned multiple terrorist attacks that killed Israeli civilians, ordered Palestinian terrorists to fire thousands of rockets at Israel, and commanded the operation to kidnap Gilad Shalit.
Today, Hamas is firing the Fajr-5, which has a range of nearly 40 miles, putting three million Israelis within terrorist missile range. The IAF has been surgical and restrained in its response to the Hamas missile escalations. Hamas deliberately targets Israeli civilians while shooting from within populated areas such as near mosques, hospitals and schools. Israel is doing its utmost to protect civilian life in Gaza.
Attacks on Israeli towns and communities continue as you read this alert:
150+ rockets have been fired at Israel this week.
800+ rockets have been fired at Israel in 2012.
2500+ rockets have been fired at Israel since 2009
Terrorists hold more than 10,000 rockets in Gaza. One million Israelis, 14% of the population, are under the threat of rocket fire.
Hamas rules the Gaza strip and is responsible for all that occurs in Gaza and all that is launched form there. Hamas, supported by Iran, has wielded authority over the Gaza Strip since 2007.
On Thusday morning (Nov 15) three people were killed when a rocket hit an apartment building in Kiryat Malachi. Two people were seriously injured, one boy was moderately hurt and two infants sustained light wounds. The apartment, on the top floor of the building, suffered a direct hit, with shrapnel throughout the rooms. Rockets also struck a residence in Ashdod and a school in Ofakim.
Map of the rocket threat to the Israeli home front from the Gaza Strip
Hamas has the ability to launch rockets into 25% of Israel's territory.
If a terrorist group was launching rockets from Mexico into 25% of the United States, this is what it would look like.