The Expulsion From Gush Katif

Gush Katif Resource to educate and enlighten

Out of the Frying Pan – Into the Fire

Posted by emmalazarus on December 30, 2008

By Shifra Shomron

There was a siren. It was loud and alarming and we didn’t know what to do – we had never heard a siren before and anyways, there was nowhere to run. You see, in Gush Katif we had always been warned after the mortars had fallen, not before though at least there our houses were solid cement and cinderblock. In fact, shortly before Disengagement, the Government had even finished reinforcing our ceilings and then we really felt safe in our house from mortars.

But that was then, and now as I heard the siren I did the only thing I could: I dived off my bed (it was nighttime and I was in pajamas) and onto the floor and covered my head with my hands. All the time there was one thought running through my head: ‘this is absurd’. And then the siren stops its wailing, and after a few seconds I heard a muffled BOOM and realized that Ashkelon or Ashdod must have gotten hit. And I prayed that everyone was safe, and knew that thank G-d our Caravilla was still standing. As the missile had fallen, I could return to bed and spend the rest of the night hearing planes flying overhead and wondering if they were indeed planes or missiles.

In short, I was up all night. At one point I turned the lights on and tried knitting to make myself drowsy. It did – but I still couldn’t sleep.

You’d think that after all the years in Gush Katif we’d be used to being bombed. But the bombs weren’t so strong then, and we didn’t feel so defenseless. The Caravillas are plaster, and they are definitely in range. When they were put down the government saved costs and didn’t build them with security rooms, as they’re obliged to do by law to any structure in Israel, by the loophole that these were “temporary” structures.

So now the army is establishing a five meter long cement tube sort of thing in each cul-de-sac. You can stand in them. They won’t protect you from a direct hit, though. We can all run there each time we hear a siren. God, I wish I had the young child’s attitude; they’re drawing on the walls in there with chalk and enjoying the echo.




Shifra Shomron is the author of the historic novel, Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim, (Mazo Publishers). “Travel beyond time and beyond location – into my Gush Katif”
Visit Shifra’s website: http://www.geocities.com/nevedekalim

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