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Central Israel Residents in Shock Over Rockets

Fear trickles from the south to the Israeli heartland on Wednesday, as Hamas targets Israel's most populated cities.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 7/9/2014, 12:11 PM

Taking shelter in Sderot (file)
Taking shelter in Sderot (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Many Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-area residents are in shock on Wednesday, after rockets began to rain down on central Israel after several years of relative quiet, during which the south has taken the brunt of Gaza's war of attrition.

"It was terrifying," Ofir Chen, who lives in Ramat Raziel near Jerusalem, told Walla! News. A missile fell within a few feet of where he had been walking his dogs.  

"I was out with my dogs when, suddenly, I heard a siren. I thought it wasn't close to me, but then I suddenly saw a bright light," he said. "The dogs ran back into the house and tried to hide."

"The missile fell right between my house and my son's house," said Tzipi, another resident of Ramat Raziel. "I was very scared. I heard an explosion like I have never heard in my life."

Tzipi ran into a shelter, but her husband did not; he was paralyzed with shock. Both are fine, if traumatized. "This is the first time something like this happened in the area and it's unbelievable," she said.

"I am very afraid that the missiles will fall here," said Essie, a resident of the Jerusalem suburb of Pisgat Ze'ev. "We can't believe that rocket fire reached Jerusalem."

"This is really scary, but you have to give the IDF space to do its work - there's nothing you can do," she added. "At first I thought that we were safe in Jerusalem, but now I realize that no one is safe, anywhere in Israel. It's incomprehensible." 

Parents, in particular, are feeling anxious Wednesday, as they grapple with how to explain the situation and whether or not to continue sending them to preschool or camp. 

"It's very scary what's happening here, we heard explosions yesterday," Danielle, a resident of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiryat HaYovel, stated. "I don't know if it's safe to send my children to preschool, or if it's too dangerous to go out at all and we should just stay home." 

In Hadera, the northernmost city hit by rockets, alarms never did sound - and many families chose to spend the rest of the night in bomb shelters. 

"Every night, now, we're sleeping in our mamad [safe room - ed.]," Yaffa, a Hadera resident, told the daily. "It's really scary to think that a rocket fell near our house." 

Yaffa also expressed frustration that Hadera residents were not warned of the incoming rocket. 

"I only see families in shelters on TV, in [news broadcasts] about Sderot, and suddenly it's meters away from me," she lamented. "Why were there no alarms in Hadera? Why does anyone believe this can't happen again?"