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July 18, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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July 18, 2014

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PAGE 10A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 18, 2014 Rockets pop Tel Aviv's bubble but not residents' routines Ben Sales / JTA Michael Savlov, left, an attendant at a Tel Aviv gas station, went back to work not long after shrapnel from a Gaza rocket landed at the site on July 10, 2014. By Ben Sales rocket exploded in the air, but shrapnel fell onto the gas station, only narrowly missing the gas tanks. "It was like a truck hitting concrete," Savlov, 24, recalled. "There was a boom and the ground shook like an earth- quake. I didn't expect it to hit here. We're lucky everything is OK. Had it fallen to the right it would have blown up everything." Long insulated from Gaza's rockets due to distance, Tel Aviv has found itself a target in the conflict between Israel and Hamas that escalated Tuesday into a full-blown IDF campaign, dubbed Operation Protective Edge. Hamas missiles first reached Tel Aviv during the group's 2012 conflict with Israel, but a larger stockpile of long-range missiles this time around has allowed it and Islamic Jihad, another terror- ist group, to shoot many more missiles at Tel Aviv during TEL AVIV (JTA)--Had the shrapnel fallen a foot to the right, gas station attendant Michael Savlov would have been destroyed along with the rest of the Dor Alon gas station in southern Tel Aviv. Savlov was with a customer in the station's office Thursday morning when a rocket from Gaza was intercepted over- head by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system. The this confrontation--at least 10 so far. The warning sirens that precede missile attacks, a seminal sign of the conflict in the south, have become a daily experience in Israel's largest metropolitan area. The barrage has gone some way toward popping the so- called bubble that separates Tel Aviv from the rest of Israel, sending residents into shelters and stairwells for protection when warning sirens ring out. Israel's Iron Dome mis- sile defense system so far has prevented any deaths from the rocketfire, enabling residents largely to go onwith their lives despite the threat of attack. "Here it's like there's a siren andwithin five minutes people return to their routines," said Ilan Lugasi, 48, while sitting at a crowded outdoor cafe Friday morning in the city center. "It's better that way." All the same, Lugasi cau- tioned, "some people trust Iron Dome too much." While residents have traded stories of waking up to a siren and rushing to the stairwell in pajamas, some Tel Avivis haven't let the bomb threats interrupt their daily routines. At the city's open-air Carmel Market, a crowded, chaotic avenue, customers bustled Friday amid the produce stands and cheese merchants. Fruit sellers yell- ing prices over each other in the unending quest to draw customers quieted down only when late-morning bomb si- rens-distant at first--began to grow louder, closer. In a dry-goods store, a still voice came on the radio, interrupting a pop song: "Si- rens in Bat Yam and Holon. Sirens in Shoham, Ben Gurion Airport." As the announcer men- tioned other neighboring cities, alerts from afar, blaring faintly, could be heard. "Where are the missiles?" a young man asked. "Wait for the boom," a cashier said. Then the blaring was up close, pulsing. The radio broadcaster made it official: "Sirens in Tel Aviv-Yafo." But after a moment's pause, people kept shopping and pushing their way through the market. Explosions could be heard a few seconds later, multiple booms signaling a successful Israeli intercep- tion, butby then itwas almost an afterthought. "They shoot the missiles, and Iron Dome intercepts it," said Moshe Dali-Levi, a produce seller, smiling and shrugging. Another loud noise drowned him out from behind: "Five shekels for a kilogram!" one seller yelled. "Bourekas! Bourekas!" screamed another. "It's not good at all," Chani Levi, who manages a pet store near the market, said. "The missiles could fall on them. They stand, laugh, look at the sky. It scares me. There's no fear." At a nearby barbershop, Roni, 48, scoffed at the idea of hiding during a siren. Many older buildings don't have bomb shelters, forcing Tel Avivis to improvise on a moment's notice. "We have nowhere to run," laughed Roni, who declined to give his last name. "What do you want us to do? Is there a shelter? There's no shelter here." At a nearby clothing store belonging to the popular Castro chain, employee Ayala Onunu, 20, said people are more cautious in her home city of Rishon Le-Zion, which also has had sirens. "People here are compla- cent," she said of Tel Aviv. "In Rishon, they're scared, they feel it's a war. Here, people deny reality." The southern Tel Aviv gas station hit by shrapnel re- sumed operations Thursday shortly after police and army personnel came to clean up the scene. Two hours later, Savlov was helping a customer fill up his car next to the police tape demarcating where the shrapnel landed. Savlov said he wasn't scared, and that his life would continue on as normal. But he did learn one lesson from the ordeal, he noted. "I think if there's a siren," he said, "we should go to the shelter." Jerusalem targeted by rockets, Netanyahu lmrried to safe room JERUSALEM (JTA)--As rockets from the Gaza Strip targeted Jerusalem for a second straight day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was taken to a special safe room. TWO of the rockets fired last Thursday afternoon were intercepted by Iron Dome and two landed in open areas. The armedwings of Harnas and Islamic Jihad both claimed responsibility. One of the rockets landed in an area near Jerusalem under the control of the Palestinian Authority. A warning siren in Jerusa- lem came in the middle of a briefing by Netanyahu during a Knesset committee meet- ing on Operation Protective Edge. Netanyahu was taken to a special safe room and the other lawmakers made their way to a bomb shelter. The Knesset building and other government offices shook from the force of the rockets, Israel's Channel 2 reported. In less than 24 hours end- ing last Thursday night, more than 120 rockets fired from Gaza struck Israel and an ad- ditional 24 were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Meanwhile, the IDF said that in the three days of Protective Edge, it has struck InformaUon 866.742.6655 wwv. MEDICARE, MEDICAID, AND MOST COMMERCIAL INSURANCES ACCEPTED 5019096 more than 900rtargets in Gaza, including over 500 rocket launchers and 100 tunnels. Israel's defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, said the mili- tary has "hit Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip very hard." "Dozens of terrorists have been killed and we are con- tinuing to strike at Hamas and make it pay a heavy price for everything it has done We're in your comer. in recent days," Yaalon said following a Security Cabinet meeting on Thursday. Some 80 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes, including civilians. After Pal- estinian sources said women and children, many from the same families, were killed in the strikes, the IDF said in a statement released last Thursday that it had targeted a number of private homes in its Gaza strikes because they were being used for military purposes. In many cases, the IDF said, soldiers call the occupants of targeted homes and warn them to evacuate in advance of the hit. "In many cases, Hamas uses its senior operatives' own homes, where their families and other civilians may be re- siding, for military purposes," the statement said. "When houses are used for military purposes, they may become legitimate military targets under international law." The statement said that Is- rael has transferred humani- tarian supplies and goods into the Gaza Strip, including gasoline and diesel fuel, and food products such as flour, rice, oil and meat. Since Protective Edge be- gan early Tuesday morning, more than 380 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel; an additional 88 were inter- cepted by Iron Dome. In southern Israel, a flurry of 20 rockets were fired last Thursday night at Beersheba in a minutes-long flurry, set- ting off alarms in several sur- rounding communities. Sev- eral injuries were reported, a representative of the Hatzalah ambulance corps told Israel's Channel 2. A house there, as well as in the Shaar Hanegev municipality, sustained di- rect hits but no injuries were reported. Also, several people were wounded in rocket attacks on the Eshkol region. One rocket hit a home in Ashdod and several cars caught fire, according to reports. Two soldiers also were wounded by mortar fire in southern Israel. Also last Thursday, the Ministry of Education an- nounced that it would allow high school students in the South who took the national mathematics matriculation exam under rocket fire to retake the test after they were interrupted several times to go to bomb shelters. HANDYMAN SERVICE Handy man and General Maintenance Air Conditioning Electrical Plumbing Carpentry Formerly handled maintenance at JCC References available STEVE'S SERVICES Call Steve Doyle at (386) 668-8960