Israel-Hamas War Report: Revenge, resolve and resilience... everyone is a warrior in Israel
Ajit Hanamakkanavar, Editor of Asianet Suvarna News, provides an insight into life in Israel amidst the ongoing war with Hamas. Reporting from the warzone, he captures the resilience of the Israeli people, who are determined to defend their homeland.
As I disembarked from the aircraft in Israel, I noticed a multitude of elderly individuals standing there to welcome their children. I could not help but wonder why their children were arriving on an international flight to a country embroiled in a brutal war. What prompted the elders to come and greet them? Upon investigating the answer to this question, I discovered that Israeli young men and women who had ventured overseas for education, travel, or various other reasons were now returning to their homeland to join the fight against Hamas. Their enthusiasm and determination were clearly evident.
Entire Israel, deeply affected by the onslaught of Hamas terrorists, is resolute in seeking revenge. Both the soldiers and the population of Israel are prepared to march forward as warriors in this conflict. Our journey took us from Bengaluru to Abu Dhabi and finally to the war-battered capital of Israel, Tel Aviv. Despite the tension at the Gaza border, life in the capital remained relatively normal.
On Saturday, Tel Aviv observed a period of rest known as 'Shapath', which is part of a religious tradition. Consequently, the lives of the people continued as usual. The sound of sirens has become a common occurrence for the residents here, who constantly live under the shadow of impending war. So, even when the sirens sounded, the people did not appear overly frightened.
This could be attributed to the fact that the rockets launched by Hamas militants lack the necessary power to inflict harm on Tel Aviv. When Israel is targeted by these terrorists, sirens are activated all over the city, prompting people to seek refuge in bunkers to safeguard themselves.
The hotel where we lodged also provided bunkers for our protection, and we were informed that we should take shelter there upon hearing the sirens. On Saturday night at 9:01 pm, the sirens went off.
A system has been put in place to ensure that everyone can hear the siren, with speakers installed in all the hotel rooms to relay the sound. Shortly thereafter, we observed a missile through the hotel window.
Everyone is a warrior in Israel
Each and every citizen of Israel has transformed into a soldier. Those who have familiarized themselves with Israel's history through web series and videos have chosen to make this nation their home. While on our flight, we met young Israeli men and women who had ventured abroad for education, employment, and adventure. Upon learning about the wartime conditions in Israel, they were ready to return to their homeland and support the military.
At the airport, we witnessed heartwarming scenes of elders, clutching the national flag, eagerly awaiting the arrival of their children returning from overseas to join the army.
At the site where Hamas attacked
Our journey took us 55 km from Tel Aviv to reach Ashkelon town. The Gaza Strip border lies at a distance of approximately 10 to 12 km from this point. Beeri town, where the Hamas militants launched their assault, is located about 8 to 10 km away.
They managed to infiltrate the town and carried out a massacre due to the negligence of the Israelis. As we were driving, the distinct sound of a missile being fired reached our ears, prompting us to halt the car, and then another missile detonated in the sky.
A significant number of military vehicles and tankers are present in this area, with stringent security measures in place. Numerous Israeli soldiers have gathered here, poised to seek retribution for the atrocities committed by the Hamas militants.
The determination and industriousness of the Israelis who are striving to rebuild their country after the devastating attacks are truly admirable. "We have created a remarkably beautiful nation in the arid desert, yet we are not being allowed to reside here," state the local residents.
On the contrary, the Palestinians contend that this was originally their land, and the Israelis have occupied their territory.
This is not merely a conflict between two nations, as there are also terrorists located at the Gaza Strip border armed with formidable weaponry. They have perpetrated brutal massacres and conducted terrorist attacks against Israel. Israelis are patiently awaiting the opportunity for retribution, driven by the memories of their lost loved ones.