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So, last night the Ladies of the Gates teamed up under Sophia’s blanket, armed with red wine and the Sound of Music. Because that is really the only way to cope.

We live outside the range of the rockets (350 and counting as Hamas violates the cease fire they asked for during the Egyptian PM’s visit to Gaza) but that doesn’t mean you don’t feel the situation.

Israelis take cover in southern city Kiryat Malakhi, Nov. 15, 2012.

(Photo: Nir Kafri. Two Israelis caught outside during a Red Alert in Kiryat Malachi. Three people were killed yesterday in that town)

Yesterday saw rockets falling on Tel Aviv in an impressive display of “Dooms Day in slow motion”. No one died, thankfully, as the IRON DOME intercepted the warheads. But shelling Tel Aviv is a sure signal that the escalation is propelling the “military operation” into a war. 30,000 reserve soldiers were okayd for a call up last night, this morning’s news have 16,000 being called up and moving towards Gaza.

Meanwhile, if you listen to the radio here, it’ll be two days since you’ve actually heard a song being properly played. You see, every time there is a “tzevah adom” / Red Alert (signalling residents to run to the nearest bomb shelter) the radio transmission is interrupted and a voice calmly announces “red alert in…” followed by all places the sirens are sounding. It’s reminder that while you are sitting in your office, on the bus (buses normally have a radio blasting music and during emergencies the news are on all the time so you won’t miss anything just because you are on public transportation. the driver chooses the station…) or at home, with a buddy drinking wine and singing “climb every mountain”, by now half of the country is under rocket fire. Half.

The number of killed civilians in Gaza is rising. Three israelis were killed yesterday. From the looks of it, today will bring very little good news for us civilians.

Vera’s contribution

Just as shabbat sirens were going off in Jerusalem, we heard another siren. Reports are contradictory – either 2 M75s (only found info about that sort of missile on a Halo wiki – yes, the video game) or Fajr 5s were shot at Jerusalem. The rockets could have landed in Gilo (a southeastern neighborhood of Jerusalem) or Gush Etzion. The IDF SMSed Gazans to be aware that a secondary waves of attacks are coming and the Cabinet voted to approve a call-up of 75,000 troops. Hamas appears to be playing with drones and the Arab world is up in arms against “Israeli aggression.”

I’ll do a proper update tomorrow with all the overnight excitement that’s likely to pop up. In the meantime, stay safe.

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