What’s It Like When You Hear That Boom?
I can only hope that the Israelis living near the border with Gaza were able to finish their morning coffee before being hit by a barrage of mortars. Twenty eight mortars and the accompanying red alert sirens, to be exact. The coffee is important because after that there were more rockets and mortars fired during the day and late into the evening. At last count 180.
It’s easy to understand on an intellectual level the fear this kind of attack generates. Intellectually one can also reduce it to numbers and statistics. Intellectually speaking, the kill ratio is low. Intellectually speaking, many rockets simply land in open areas, meaning fields or other areas not occupied by people. MK Tibi likened the Qassam rocket to nothing more than a firecracker, once again enforcing the idea that Hamas is powerless and we Israelis are overreacting.
What makes these attacks so terrifying to the people along Israel’s border with Gaza is that they are so random. They have fifteen seconds to seek cover. So while the kill ratio is low, you never know when one will hit just right and you or your family member will be killed or maimed by it. A Qassam rocket may not be able to flatten your home but it can definitely put a hole in it. See why this is a game no one in their right mind wants to play?
In the last war with Hamas, they used longer range rockets, so some of them fell in my neck of the woods. We have the luxury of sixty seconds to reach some kind of cover. Just as I was about to leave for work I heard the red alert siren. My hand was literally on the doorknob. I went into the reinforced room and waited. Shortly after the siren ended there was a loud boom and my house shook. In that second, I realized that where I wait for my ride to work is an open area. No buildings. What would have happened had I been outside? How would I have protected myself? Fear gripped every organ in my body. And then I truly got what it must feel like for people living in the southern part of Israel.