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Israelis are used to living under threat

todayApril 14, 2024 2

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Israelis are used to living under threat

It’s a new day in Israel but the unprecedented attack by Iran has left this country feeling shaken.

Schools and universities were closed for security reasons.

We met students Talia and Simona at a cafe in west Jerusalem. They said the crisis was all they’d discussed all day.

Follow live updates after Iran’s attack on Israel

“I hope we’ll be smart enough that it won’t get worse and I think last night was a big win for us because our army saved us,” Talia said.

The events of 7 October are still raw – but the attack on Saturday night has increased a sense of vulnerability.

“We were both very, very scared, we were on the phone but I think after 7 October I feel like we’ve already seen the worst,” said Simona.

For many Israelis this is a pivotal moment – people go about their business as normal but this is the first time in history the nation has been attacked directly by Iran.

Nelly Hayat

Image:
Mother Nelly Hayat has no bomb shelter in her house

Israelis ‘feel trapped’

Nelly Hayat, a mother of young children, was out with friends on Jaffa Street, a main shopping street in the city.

“The Israeli people, they feel trapped with what’s happening,” she said. “We woke up the kids at 2am, we ran outside because there was no bomb shelter in the house and you have to reassure the kids that everything will be fine even though you are frightened.”

Israelis were expecting something – there had been numerous security warnings in the days leading up to the attack – but the size of it has shocked many and attention is now focused on how Israel will respond.

Read more:
Will Israel let an attack by Iran go unpunished?
All-out war, or not, in the Middle East?

Channel 12 TV has switched to continuous rolling coverage.

Military experts and journalists discussed the crisis on a programme called “Israel at War”.

Keren Betzalel

Image:
Channel 12 international correspondent Keren Betzalel

‘What will happen if Israel decides to retaliate?’

Keren Betzalel, the channel’s international correspondent, was on a panel trying to decipher what will happen next.

I don’t think people are happy today,” she said. “It’s not a time to cheer because you beat them [Iran], no.

“We have no idea if it is behind us and to be honest we still have the front in the south with Hamas. And there is a front in the north [Hezbollah].”

She added: “Are we done with Iran? What will happen if Israel decides to retaliate? Is it going to drag to a broader war in the region?”

Ms Betzalel went on: “And you have to bear in mind, we’re more than six months into a situation of war. It’s not something that only started last night. It started on 7 October.”

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The next 48 hours will be crucial but the Jewish state stands on the brink of war with a major regional power.

Israelis are used to living under threat – but this is new and these are difficult days.

Written by: Newsroom

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