I’ve seen films of London during the WWII rocket attacks, in which the V1 ‘buzz bombs’ flew across the sky. When the buzzing of the pulse-jet engine stopped, the people below knew that the bomb was about to fall, perhaps on them. It must have been terrifying.
Israelis today are experiencing exactly this terror. Here is a short account of what it is like, by Hagit Riterman, published in the Israeli newspaper makor rishon on November 4. My thanks to the Daily Alert for the English translation.
600,000 Israelis live in the Beersheba metropolitan area. Last Monday evening I was driving into Beersheba, listening to a song on the radio. Through the window I noticed a young girl running fast and looking scared, not sure where she was going. Suddenly I saw that all the cars ahead of me had stopped in the middle of the street. Their occupants were getting out and running. I understood – the air raid sirens.
I ran with the others to take shelter between two buildings. There were women there hugging the concrete walls. Some were crouched down, and one was shaking. Other sat on the ground. Then someone shouted, “Look up!” and I saw them in the sky. Two bright lights, like balls of fire with tails, almost white, flying in an arch in the sky, coming from afar. I thought they were about to land next to us, but the Grad rockets continued to fly and passed over our heads.
We heard explosions and later learned that the Iron Dome missile defense system succeeded in shooting down the two rockets that were aimed at the center of the city. When I saw the two rockets flying in the air, heading towards us, seconds before they passed overhead, I understood so well the fear that people here are now living with. We’re not soldiers in wartime, we’re the civilian population. And in the middle of an ordinary day, during a routine drive down the street, suddenly you see a rocket flying in your direction.
Nazi Germany was a formidable opponent with a massive war machine. It would take the most powerful nations on earth several years to finally put an end to the regime. But Hamas and the other terrorist factions, with their Nazi-like ideologies, are nothing. Israel could crush them like cockroaches.
So why do Israelis have to put up with the daily terror from Gaza?