JFNA Solidarity Mission: Between the sirens

Guest blogger Stuart Wachs, president and CEO of the Jewish Community Association of Greater Phoenix, is currently in Israel on a solidarity mission with the Jewish Federations of North America.

We are at Kfar Ibim and we had a red alert and then could hear the rocket exploding; we believe that it was intercepted by the Iron Dome. This is an absorption center for Ethiopians and all of the sudden all the children came running into the main room we were in, which is also the safe room. Amazing to see how “normal” it seemed from the children and also so sad.
Getting briefing from a leading reporter in Israel. Interesting fact, the civilian casualties number that the UN uses come from UN advisers in Gaza who are Palestinian and approved by Hamas. Big surprise that the number of innocent civilians is so exaggerated. The IDF intelligence shows that about 1,000 have been Hamas terrorists.
Other interesting facts:
Each tunnel Hamas has built takes 350 truckloads of supplies. With those supplies, Palestinians could have built 86 homes, six schools or 19 medical clinics. Instead they build tunnels for the single purpose of killing and terrorizing Israeli civilians. The tunnel system is truly like an underground city network going from one building to another. There is no way the Palestinians did not know this network of terror tunnels was being built. We saw footage of IDF soldiers in Gaza fighting Hamas and destroying the tunnels. Their commitment in destroying Hamas and their terror capabilities was clear. What an amazing group of young men and women. The IDF is strong, determined, mighty and also the most ethical troops in the world.
Have to go now, a siren just went off and we have to go to a shelter.


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