Like other populated civilian areas across northern Israel, Tzfat has been showered with Katyusha rockets for almost a week now. Despite this, some residents are actually trying to maintain some semblance of normality. Dr. Anthony Luder explained that he still walks his dog. The punchline to his story, though, was that minutes after he finished one such walk, a spot he had just been at was hit by a Katyusha.
Welcome to life in Tzfat. Many residents have experienced near-misses or miraculous timing. Locals have been swapping stories for the past few days, and at least one person said this recent ritual is therapeutic. Based on the rest of the day’s events, there will be more tales to tell.
Fifteen minutes after the siren—the recommended time during which people should stay in sheltered positions—the group of seven journalists I was with got on the bus and drove away. Less than a mile from the hospital, we saw at least two separate plumes of smoke rising up from the valley below. We received a call from the hospital executive, who had shown us around, who said that more rockets had just hit. News reports later indicated that several more rockets pounded the Tzfat area within hours of our departure.
For adults who escape physically intact, the long-term impact of the rocket attacks hopefully will be minimal. Compartmentalization and blocking painful memories are well-practiced skills for adult minds. But as we drove away with smoke from rocket explosions off in the distance, it was the image of the terrified 9-year-old girl I couldn’t shake.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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