Interview
Gaza clashes give residents a 'reminder' of war

Kibbutz Nahal Oz spokesperson speaks about why mortar fire picked up again, and how the tankfire brings back rough memories.

Benny Tocker,

Bomb shelter in Nahal Oz
Bomb shelter in Nahal Oz
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Residents of kibbutz Nahal Oz on the border with Gaza are worriedly following the developments on the security border, as Hamas terrorists in recent days have launched numerous mortar attacks on IDF soldiers working to unearth attack tunnels leading under the border.

Nahal Oz spokesperson Yael Raz-Lahiani spoke to Arutz Sheva about the unfolding events, and described the residents' hopes that another war following 2014 Operation Protective Edge is not in the offing.

"There is unease, because in recent months we got used to a relative quiet and suddenly that's undermined," said Raz-Lahiani. "We currently are trying to maintain our routine, those are also the instructions (we're getting), other than the fact that they instructed us to drive on the more secure access road."

Raz-Lahiani estimated that the IDF work to unearth terror tunnels - which Hamas has been rebuilding after using them to lethal effect in Protective Edge - is what has caused the recent flare-up.

"The messages that we receive are that the activities the IDF is doing on the border in order to defend us are angering the other side, and that's also our estimation," she said.

"Anyone who walks around here sees all the facts, apparently what we see they (Hamas) also see. There is no doubt that the exposure of the tunnels encourages us, I can't say with certainty that we are calm, but today we are calmer than a year ago."

The spokesperson told Arutz Sheva that the sound of tank fire heard in response to the mortars has brought residents back to the difficult days of Protective Edge when they were under fire from Hamas.

"We got a little reminder, once again there are the sounds of mortar and tank fire here and it brings us back," she said. "While we're used to a higher intensity (of sound from the weapons), this is a little reminder of the place we don't want to be in - the emergency routine."

Raz-Lahiani said she hopes the quiet will return, noting, "we have very open communication with the army, but we hope that the quiet that we enjoyed up until two days ago will continue."




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