In this post I will try not to talk about politics but more about how my family and myself are doing.
I guess most of you know that Israel has been under a massive missile attack for the last two weeks, fired by Hamas from Gaza against the towns and cities of Israel. Luckily, the unbelievable success of Iron Dome systems to intercept most of these missiles before they hit populated areas has reduced the number of casualties to zero. However, several Israelis were badly wounded and some serious damage was caused to houses and cars. This might seem minor but this is all thanks to Iron Dome - each and every one of these Hamas missiles was aimed to kill civilians.
My house is less than 10 km from the Gaza border, and when we were at home we suffered badly from these attacks. We live halfway between Sderot and Netivot, two cities that were hit badly by Hamas, so our house shakes every time a missile is aimed towards these cities. The non-stop explosions, sirens and tension were too much for us, especially for my kids that are just old enough to start to understand what's happening. Running in panic several times a day to the bomb shelter (one of our rooms), waiting to hear the explosion, and never feeling safe when staying outdoors started to have a serious effect on our kids' sanity. We decided to transfer to my parents-in-law that live in central Israel. We have 3-4 sirens a day here too, but because we are about 50 km from Gaza border, it takes the missiles longer to get here, and the run to the shelter doesn't have to be in panic. Also, there are much fewer explosions from around us here.
All of this happened in conjunction with problems in our family - my wife's grandfather is hospitalized in a very difficult state, and two of my kids were ill with a minor virus for several days. So during the last few days I was hardly able to work, of course no time for birding or fieldwork, only managed to squeeze in a few hours of computer work here and there.
I know that we are not in a summer camp, our country is in war, but this is very difficult for us to be here. Not difficult like the people living in the most dangerous cities - Sderot, Netivot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ofakim, Be'er Sheva and a few others. We all want badly to get back home and to normal life. I feel so sorry for the miserable people of Gaza - they must be the most unfortunate people on earth, living under the deadliest leaders in the world. I just wish that this terrible situation will solve somehow, with a sustainable solution that will last longer than two years - about two years ago we experienced a similar situation.
I hope that my next post will be bird-related...