Rounds of fighting in southern Israel and the constant rocket fire on towns and cities bordering the Gaza Strip have not only physically endangered the safety of residents, but have also had a telling effect on their psychological health.
The ERAN Association for Emotional First Aid has reported an increase of 22 percent in the number of Israelis in the south who have contacted it in recent days for assistance. More than 150 rockets have been fired at southern Israel since Saturday night, Israeli officials said.
The head of Hamas' military wing in the Gaza Strip, Ahmed Jabri, was killed at 7:30 a.m. New York time Wednesday by an Israeli missile at the start of a major Israeli military Gaza offensive called Pillar of Defense, a retired Israeli general said on a conference call organized by The Israel Project, a pro-Israel education organization.
Tel Aviv — Tamara Cohen and other Israelis near the Gaza Strip call it a “haslama,” Hebrew for escalation.
They are several daylong violent spasms in which the Israeli army and Palestinian rocket launchers trade blows, sending one million running for cover and forcing school cancellation. Eventually, a cease-fire is achieved, and life returns to a sense of near normalcy.
But after four years of this, a month in which southern Israelis were subjected to two separate rocket upsurges from Gaza has residents and politicians fed up.
Jerusalem — The moment President Barack Obama declared victory, Israelis — both pundits and private individuals — began pondering what it could mean for Israel-U.S. relations.
“We want the best for the U.S. because we love the American people, but I hope we won’t need their government because, while I respect Obama, I don’t trust him,” said Michal Yehoshua, a 21-year-old government employee, sipping hot coffee during a break.
An exit poll of 1,572 Jews who hold dual American-Israeli citizenship cast their absentee ballots overwhelmingly for Romney — 85 percent to just 14 percent for Obama. The poll, which has a margin of error of 2.5 percent, was conducted Oct. 22-24 and found that the No. 1 issue for voters was Israel and its related issues, such as the status of Jerusalem and Palestinians. Some 61 percent of voters listed it as No. 1.