Tensions Rise in Israel as Conflict with Hamas Escalates

News Category: International Affairs

by Victor Adetimilehin

Tensions in Israel have reached a critical point as the nation grapples with an escalating conflict with Hamas militants. Reports indicate that over 1,000 lives have been lost in the ongoing war, which erupted last Saturday.

Foreigner Vivian Nomalanga Bhebhe, a Zimbabwean residing in Tel Aviv since 2017, provides a firsthand account of the harrowing situation. She describes how the foreign community in Israel is grappling with the shockwaves of the conflict.

According to Reuters, the death toll stands at 700 Israelis and at least 370 Palestinians, including innocent children and women. Furthermore, around 2,000 Palestinians have suffered injuries due to Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

Bhebhe reveals that the Hamas attacks have caught many off guard, particularly in cities like Sderot, where militants attacked people attending a music concert and even those still in their beds.

Residents in these towns seemed to have been caught by surprise, with the attacks occurring before sunrise. Many were shot when they opened their doors, while some were tragically killed while jogging or stretching in parks. The element of surprise has left the community shaken.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has urged citizens to stay indoors, citing the imminent threat of Israeli defense forces launching a counterattack.

Bhebhe explains, “Right now, we have been told to stay at home because the Israeli defense forces will be doing a counterattack this evening, if not this night or tomorrow morning. So, we have been told to stay indoors. We don’t know what’s going to happen after Israel has attacked that side. Maybe they would want to retaliate also after the attack. The situation is just tense. We couldn’t go to work because those people (Hamas), it’s not only the rockets this time … They infiltrated by coming into the country. Right now the government doesn’t know how many of them are inside Israeli cities as we speak right now. They are trying to keep us safe.”

The fear has paralyzed daily life for many residents, with Bhebhe explaining that going to work has become a daunting task. The uncertainty of identifying potential threats among fellow commuters has made public transportation a nerve-wracking experience.

Despite the unsettling situation, Bhebhe highlights that rockets are not raining down on Israel. She acknowledges the effectiveness of Israel’s Iron Dome defense system in intercepting and destroying short-range rockets and mortars.

While the conflict continues to cast a shadow of fear, residents hope for safety by following the guidelines to stay indoors. The situation remains tense, but the resilience of the Israeli people endures, even in the face of adversity.

Source: [NewZimbabawe.com]

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