Around 2:00pm, I was sitting at my desk in my apartment located in the Ben-Gurion University dorms in Be’ersheva, writing an article for United With Israel on the recent honoring of the suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat by the Arab Lawyers Union. I had just arrived back in Be’ersheva this morning, after a lovely weekend spent with my husbands’ family in Netanya. Then, all of a sudden, I heard the bomb sirens go off.

As someone who has lived in Be’ersheva since October 2009, when I started working on my masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies, I have grown accustomed to bomb sirens going off. I have had my meals, my sleep, my work, my studies, and even my showers interrupted by Hamas rocket fire.

Thus, given that bomb sirens are a routine for me, I have learned how to react towards them. I quickly got up, grabbed the key to my apartment, locked the door and ran outside to the bomb shelter. Inside the bomb shelter, I met neighbors of mine and asked them what was interrupted by this particular bomb siren. One student answered that she had merely wanted to clean her house when she heard the alarm. Another student responded that he was not given the chance to eat his lunch in a relaxed manner. And yet, still another student complained that she was on the way home from class when this happened.

After we all heard the big boom, we returned to our homes. There, I called my husband, Shachar Avraham, to make sure that he was ok. My husband is working on his master’s degree in chemistry. He claimed that one of his science classes was interrupted, but that every one is fine because the classroom was located underground. I then called my best friend, Ortal Shmueli, who is working on her masters in Land of Israel Studies and who is the head of the Likud Chapter at Ben-Gurion University. Like me, her work was disturbed. She told me that she was trying to emotionally recover from the shock so that she can be productive.

Later on, the Jerusalem Post reported that Palestinians in Gaza had fired two grad rockets at Be’ersheva while I was in the shelter. One of them was intercepted by the Iron Dome, while the second one landed in an open area within the city. Nevertheless, according to Yedioth Achronot, following the rocket attack on Be’ersheva, public schools were called off today. One child, upon complaining about the lack of shelters in Be’ersheva public schools, asserted regarding the children in her class, “Every one cries when there is an alarm. We don’t feel safe.”

It is critical to note that within the past 24 hours, terrorists from Gaza have launched over 75 rockets and mortars into Israel. Four people have been injured from this latest barrage of rocket fire. The Jerusalem Post reported that municipalities near the Gaza border have even canceled school. Be’ersheva was only the latest target of the Palestinian terror groups in Gaza. Ashkelon, Ashdod, Sderot, the Eshkol Regional Council, and Be’er Tuvia were also affected. Furthermore, rockets have more or less continuously been fired at Israeli civilian areas ever since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. While the iron dome has achieved some damage control, it has nevertheless failed to solve the problem.

Reported by Rachel Avraham for United With Israel