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Hagit Ward, Israel "It was a direct strike on our neighbour’s house"

[Israel] A religious scroll in a bomb-damaged house in Kiryat Shmona. [Date picture taken: 08/20/2006]
(Tom Spender/IRIN)

Hagit Ward came home from a weekend away to find that a Hizbullah rocket had made a direct hit on her neighbour’s ‘safe’ room at Kibutz Amir, near the northern border of Israel with Lebanon.

“On Friday, we left for Tel Aviv for the weekend just to give the kids some peace and quiet, and to get a change of atmosphere. It was something normal to do which we had booked before all of this began. The strike happened on Friday afternoon.

“We returned on Sunday evening and the house was a total mess. There was glass everywhere and the dog was injured. Now all I can do is clean up. It was a direct strike on our neighbour’s house. We thought that security rooms were safe, but when it was hit the bomb came straight through the roof and exploded inside the room.

“Fortunately, our neighbour, Tal, was the only one home. His wife and children had gone south. He had injuries caused by those tiny pieces of metal and, because the ceiling fell in, he also had head injuries. He was moved by helicopter to the hospital and was released last night. He is not home yet. The house has to be repaired. There is a huge hole in the roof. The security room is destroyed and in the main part of the house all of the curtains are ripped and everything smothered in dust.

“Earlier today we had about 20 Katuyshas [rockets] fall not far from here, and then, not long ago, another 20 came down. Even the IDF’s [Israel Defense Force] outgoing fire is very loud but, you know, we are getting used to it.

“Most families with children have left the kibbutz now. Only 20 or so children remain and we are running activities for them inside bomb shelters. But people without kids are staying. My husband is from England and our family keeps on trying to make us leave, but we keep on saying ‘we’re OK, we’re OK’.

“No one is going to make us leave.”


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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