My 2 shekles on the Israeli Situation
We have had a quiet day here. I spend the morning with my friend at the Jersualem mall, shopping for more underware and a clean skirt. It was heaving with people and you would have no idea that a war was happening in the north with all the hustle and bustle there.
I just had an email from my Dad who said he was hearing many conflicting messages in the media and was unsure of the details of what was happening here. From the news I have watched in Hebrew and on foreign sattelite what I hear from contacts living in different parts Of Israel here is what I have been able to piece together chronoclogically about the current situation:
1) Hezbelloh is a terrorist organization that seems to have more power than the "official" Lebanese goverment. There are a militant Islamists and anti-Israel and have been generally upset with Israel since the last major conflcit they lost with them in the 1980s (but in all reality this situation goes back farther than that).
2) Things have been tense in Israel for a few weeks due to the conflict in Gaza (basically sinceI arrived in June). The kidnapping of a solider by Hamas in Gaza at the beginning of July put things at a new tense and adviserial level .
3) Hezzblollah crossed the border and kidnapped 2 Israeli solider and killed several others last week (just about the time I returned from my trip to Sweden). Israel responded with some rockets to Hezzbolahs strongholds which happend to be ingrained in residential area of sourthern Lebanon and Beruit. This defintely raise the concern within the ME and put this event on the radar screen for the international community.
4) Hezbelloh uses this as an excuse to then attack northern towns in Israel with rockets.
5) Since then it has a, you hit us we hit you back, response.
6) Haifa got invovled last thursday when the first katusha rocket landed (see my entry: bomb in hiafa and in the safe room) . Some say the media gave too many details of the location of the hit which gave Hezebollah strategy of how to best attack Haifa in the future. The weekend was spent with Hezbelloah hitting towns in the north inluding Akko, Naharyah, Kiriat Shmona and Tiberians in the Galilee. People in the north entered shelter rooms on Shabbat and many have been there or near them ever since.
7) Haifa suffered a major blow on Sunday (which blocked my return to the north). Israel intensified attacks on Souther Lebanon trying to hit strategic targets but obviously innocent getting caught in the crossfire. Hezebollah seems to be randomly hitting civilan towns and targets (like hospital, housing areas, etc). The G8 make public statements about Israel having the right to defend herself, but should execute restraint. Other countries call for a cease fire. Israel comes out and say it must defend itself agains terrorists. People of Lebannon seem caught in the middle with an offical government that is weak and unable to govern the situation. Hezzbellohs leaders are quiet on their long term goals and whether or not they would consider a cease fire or release the prisoners.
8) Today more air raid sirens sound in Hiafa and in the north. My friend was on the phone with a friend 5 mins after a rocket hit an apartment building on her block. She thenc alled a friend in Hiafa who said he coulld not talk as air raid sirens wer esounding and he had to run to the bomb shelter. Foreingers in Beruit Lebanon continue to be evacuated to Syria or Cyprus. (But no mention of evacuating Americans out of the North of Israel yet). International pressures and talks is pronounced but it hard to tell what will happend or what can be done at this point.
Anyways this is my account of the current situation, all is uncertain!