Photo Credit: Courtesy, JNF
In Sderot, children can play in an indoor playground-bomb shelter donated in March 2009 by the Jewish National Fund.

By dawn of the second day of the conflict with the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror, the people of the State of Israel had basically prepared for the “long haul” due to the rehearsals carried out by the IDF Home Front Command’s national drills in the months prior.

Shopping malls in cities across southern Israel were open, but the stores within the buildings for the most part were closed, except those that offered essential services such as pharmacies, medical clinics, supermarkets, and of course the synagogues within the bomb shelters located in each building.


Schools are closed and children are home. Universities and colleges are closed as well. Many teachers and professors, however, are continuing communications with their students via the internet.

Yeshiva students, Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries and even some Israeli vocalists are visiting bomb shelters in the south to perform for them and dance with them, to encourage and lift the spirits of those forced to spend extended time enclosed in the safe spaces.

A young woman who teaches yoga invited Israelis “now or later” who are stuck at home and feeling stressed to “join a short yoga practice for stress relief, centering and grounding” in a free Facebook session. Sarka Soudkova, who lives in Be’er Sheva, said the practice is based on the principles of “trauma sensitive yoga” and offered the session as her way of contributing to the stress relief of the community. The Yoga Harmony session may be accessed by clicking here.

On one English-speakers’ chat forum, a municipal liaison forwarded a request from the city of Be’er Sheva, “asking that people who live in buildings leave the entrances propped open so that passersby can take shelter in the stairwell, if the need arises. Remember, we are all trying to keep up with our daily routines, and if we can help each other out a little bit more, it will only help!” the liaison wrote. Responses to the request were positive.

The website created a list of contact information for Emotional Support Services, which can be access by clicking here. The resources include Emergency and General Services, Social Services as well as links to First Aid for stab wounds, Suspicious Items, Earthquake drills, Terrorist attacks, Gas masks, and Guidelines for rocket fire.

The IDF Home Front Command has meanwhile produced an informative video in several languages — including English – to explain what to do when the Red Alert incoming rocket alert siren is heard.

There is a kind of rhythm that takes over the country once the government finally does something about the incessant terror attacks from Gaza on Israel’s civilians.

Radio stations move to a different style of broadcasting with the hosts inviting more participation from those at home.

The IDF Twitter account – normally informative but not necessarily detailed — becomes a lot more active and provides photos and other details several times a day.

As a matter of fact, at times the IDF is downright chatty.

“What’s better than intercepting a rocket? Stopping from being fired in the first place,” the IDF tweeted bright and early Wednesday.

“The Israeli Air Force just attacked a squad of Islamic Jihad terrorists trying to fire more rockets from the northern Gaza Strip at Israel.”

Hummus, anyone?


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.