AOH :: SHADOW03.TXT|
Israel and the Iraqi Threat - Part 3
Israel under Iraqi missile attack - Eitan Vazani.
Once again I am writing to you from Israel. This time, about something
that I hope you will never experience. I am typing this several hours
after Iraqi missiles landed in 2 major cities in Israel. The words for
this article were running in my mind during the attack, though.
It was about 2:00 am, when I was sitting in front of my computer playing
some games. Having the war started the night before I could not sleep,
even though I slept very little during the last 24 hours. The great
performance of U.S. Air Force was good news to us, and a great relief.
The last night and day brought good news to Israel. Most of the Iraqi
installation has been destroyed or damaged. However, we all had this
feeling that we are not safer than before. So did feel Israeli army
leaders, and they warned again and again that not all Iraqi missiles
were destroyed. They suspected that small, mobile missile launchers were
hidden underground and are fully operational. Also, large part of the
Iraqi air force was also hidden underground. So, as were happy with the
success of U.S. Air Force, we were also worried and prepared.
Thus at 2:00 am in the second night of the war, I was sitting worried
and playing computer games. The radio was on, playing some music and
songs, and I expected to hear some news. For a long time there were no
news breaks, and music was just playing on, so I was really absorbed in
the game I was playing. Suddenly, a loud whistle sounded in the radio
followed by a high toned whistle, a pause, and a steady, tense voice
saying (translated): "Rattlesnake, Rattlesnake, Rattlesnake". It sounded
like some army password or code word, but the army never interferes with
radio frequencies. I was puzzled, and switched to another frequency of
the same station. The music continued. I switched back to the previous
frequency - music again. I had a feeling that something unusual is about
to happen, so I lowered the volume and listened. Only then I noticed the
alarm outside. I waited a few seconds to be sure that this was a general
emergency alarm. It was. I rushed to my parents room and woke them up.
A few seconds later we heard weak explosion sounds, but felt no blow.
While my parents were jumping out of their bed, I woke up my sister, and
called my girlfriends house to make sure they are awake. I woke up her
father and he heard the alarm at once and got up. There was nothing
special on the radio, the music continued. We all gathered in my sister's
room, (which we prepared for a gas attack a few days ago), took the gas
masks out of the boxes, and waited. We didn't know what to do.
I tried calling the police, then some emergency numbers - all busy.
We listened to the radio. There was music, and some guy talking, and the
whistle again. After a short pause the guy on the radio said that he will
find out what that whistle was. Some more music, and then an announcement:
"Due to a missile attack on Israel, all people are request to enter their
sealed rooms, and wear gas masks immediately!". The message was repeated
several times. We were a bit shocked, but did not panic. We put on the
masks, and expected the worse. Of course, our two dogs came into the
sealed room with us. We called some relatives and friends to make sure
they were all aware of the situation. They were.
The radio continued with alternating announcements and songs, but provided
no further information. We looked at each other, and watched our masked
faces in the mirror, for entertainment and good spirit. We were tense,
and made no attempt to cover it, but the all knew that strong mentality
is important, even crucial, so we laughed, argued, cursed Saddam and
discussed Israel's possible responses. The time passed, and an army
spokesman talked on the radio. He said that several missiles had landed in
various places, but refused to say where the missiles had landed, or what
kinds of missiles (conventional explosives or chemical). About an hour
and 15 minutes since the alarm, the army spokesmen said the gas masks are
to be removed and replaced in their boxes, but no one is to leave the
sealed room. Another 15 minutes pass, and there was another announcement:
"All people in Tel Aviv and nearby towns, and all people in Haifa and its
surroundings, are to wear gas mask again. All other people are to stay
in the sealed rooms."
This got us a bit confused, but we put the masks back on. Another half
an hour, and we were told to remove the masks. This sounded like a final
decision and it relieved us a bit. However, we had to stay in the sealed
room and wait for further instructions. We waited, proposing different
ways of punishing Saddam and Iraq for their terrorism. Another news break
revealed that in all Israel there were only 7 injured, and even those got
only some scratches and are to be sent back home within a short time.
From this information we deduced that the missiles were of the explosive
type, and did not carry chemical warheads. Some time later it became
clear that this is the situation, but we were still instructed to stay in
the sealed room until further notice.
While waiting, I fell into imagining myself in an F-15, bombing Saddam
and his missile launchers. Being very tired now, I fell into a good
sleep, and woke up 4 hours later. It was 10:15 am, and after being
updated with the latest news, I sat down to write these words.
Now, you can see what Israel is facing each and everyday, for more
than 40 years. Saddam Houssain is not the first fanatic Arab that is
trying to massacre the poeple of Israel. He is also not the last.
Maybe now you can understand why Israel cannot agree to give up more of
its land. We need some safety margin. If such a missile attack gets
heavier, we need some place to go, to hide. Israel had given 3/4 of
its lands to Egypt for peace that we still can't trust. Now, the U.S.A,
and virtually all the world, wants Israel to give up a 1/4 of what is
left. Why? Maybe I'll discuss the motives in a later article.
Attacked, but the last laugh will be ours.
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