Israel-Hezbollah War

A view of the July-August 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war from an Israeli living in Haifa (under Katyusha rocket attack)- send personal comments to david2@lisbona.com

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Monday, July 24, 2006

How our lives have changed in the last week


For those of you who have just joined this "blog" or series of reports about what is happening in the Israel-Hezbollah war and in our lives in particular, here's a summary:

On Wednesday morning July 12, guerilla fighters from the Hezbollah organisation launched a dawn raid on a routine Israeli Army patrol inside Israel near the Lebanese border. The Hezbollah killed 8 Israeli soldiers and took 2 prisoner whom they spirited over the border into Lebanon. This incident happened about 10 days after a raid by Palestinian guerillas on an Israeli army outpost in Israel (near the Gaza strip) . The Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah wanted to use the captured soldiers as bargaining chips for the realease of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails. The Israeli government decided it would not be extorted and would react with force against such unprovoked agression across an agreed international border. Within hours Israeli Air Force planes started pounding Hezbollah and Lebanese infrastructure targets with the aim of neutralising (as much as possible) the Hezbollah's offensive capabilities and to cut their supply lines.

Almost immediately the Hezbollah responded to the Israeli attacks by launching Katyusha rockets (which can each destroy a house and kill up to 10 people) against towns and communities in the north of Israel near the Lebanese borders. Many of these towns, such as Kiryat Shmona and Naharia had known many such Katyusha attacks by the Hezbollah in the past.

On Thursday evening July 13, those of us who live in the north but not in the border region, in our case the city of Haifa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haifa experienced something we hadn't known before - a single Katyusha rocket landed in Haifa, fortunately injuring noone and causing limited damage (see picture) . The optimists, like me, thought this incident was a unique aberration but on Sunday morning July 16 a barrage of Katyusha rockets landed, without warning, in different places in Haifa. One of these rockets killed 8 railway workers in a maintenace depot. Since then the rocket attacks have continued on Haifa and since last Sunday afternoon we (usually) have a 30-60 second warning - before impact - by the wail of air raid sirens. We had a 36-hour lull at one point when there were no attacks or sirens but after that the attacks resumed with anywhere from 1-10 air raid warnings per day.

Since Sunday July 16 the streets of Haifa are almost empty in contrast to the centre of the country (Tel Aviv, Jerusalem) where life continues as usual. Irit and I have driven down to Tel Aviv several times in the last week and we continue to be amazed how people are leading their normal lives elsewhere, walking in the streets, going to shops and cafes. It's good that we can take a break from the war atmosphere in Haifa from time to time (a great privilege compared to the suffering in south Lebanon) but it feels rather surrealistic.

For other reports on our life and our musings in these crazy days, see the other reports in this blog. Best to you all
- David

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear David, Please email blog.washingtonpost.com/postglobal if interested in collaborating with the Washington Post. Thanks.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Israel has also crossed the agreed international border and several times..... it didn’t lead to the killing of innocent people and the destruction as it is the case now

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Israel has also crossed the agreed international border and several times..... it didn’t lead to the killing of innocent people and the destruction as it is the case now

3:14 PM  

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