Seconds to safety

July 13, 2014 by Michael Kuttner
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As I write these lines after Shabbat rockets are bombarding Tel Aviv and the coastal cities and the iron dome anti missile system is performing outstandingly.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Our Shabbat was quiet until 7pm when the sirens wailed and we rushed to our local air raid shelter. Here in Efrat we have up to 90 seconds approximately to reach safety which is considerably longer than those living nearer Gaza who have in some cases only 15 seconds warning of incoming rockets. Nevertheless a minute and a half is also not that long when you realise that one has to wake up (if at night) and make it to the shelter without falling over or slipping in the dark. During the day it is easier but still a tight race to find shelter before the booms are heard.

On this occasion we were sitting around the dining room table. As the sirens rang out we made for the front door and ran to the shelter which is situated in the midst of our 30 family neighbourhood. The shelter had been left open all over Shabbat for just such an emergency and therefore we did not have to fumble for a key to unlock it. No more than 10 seconds after arriving we and everyone else gathered there (including wee babies) heard two loud booms which signified that the rockets had either been intercepted or had fallen in open territory. After several minutes we all returned to our homes and after Shabbat discovered from the news that a rocket had fallen in Hebron, another near Bethlehem and apparently one in or near Efrat somewhere.

The fact that these rockets are just as likely to kill Palestinian Arabs apparently does not seem to deter the terrorists and this illustrates yet again that those engaged in this war of terror have no regard or concern for even their own people. It is therefore highly ironic but indicative of the hypocrisy of the PA that Abbas, the head of the Fatah/Hamas Authority, can accuse Israel of war crimes to the UN while at the same time those who are his citizens target not only Israeli civilians but Palestinian Arabs also. This simple fact of life seems to have escaped the attention of all those in the international community who continue to remain oblivious to realities unfolding in front of them.

The call for a cease fire at this stage is merely a repeat of past episodes where Hamas and other terror groups use the interval to restock and regroup. This time we need to clean out the cesspit of terror in Gaza. Until this is accomplished there will never be any chance of peace.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.

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