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I was busy washing dishes yesterday evening when all of a sudden I heard a wailing sound and doors slamming in my building. An air raid siren; the first in Tel Aviv since Operation Pillar of Defense back in November of 2012.

I picked up my dog, my purse, and ran down the stairs with my neighbours. The funny thing is my dog was at the door whimpering, looking back and forth at me and the door. She knew that we had to find shelter.

In Tel Aviv you have a minute and a half to find shelter. A big difference from the 7 seconds I had when I was in Sderot, but still not enough time to get to the bomb shelter in the garden behind my building. I used to go to Sderot every weekend a few years back and I remember my friend’s mother saying, the first time I visited, how quiet it was. Not one breath later did the siren go off and we had to run to the bomb shelter. We were safe, but the sound and feeling of the impact from the Qassam (a rocket from Gaza) has stayed with me.

Sderot was also where for the first time I heard the Kipat Barzel (Iron Dome) go off and intercept a rocket headed towards Ashkelon, a city with a population of 120,000 inhabitants. The Iron Dome has been a life saver for the citizens of the State of Israel. Since the start of this latest operation, with over 220 rockets launched, the Iron Dome has intercepted 53 that were launched towards Israeli cities. Today one was deployed in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, after a Katyusha (long range rocket) was fired at it.

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