Tel Aviv suburbs
Day 19 of the war
Most troops are now stationed outside of Gaza, in nearby Israel. Eric is 2km inside Israel, and called us on a day of half-washing and half-resting. He is still borrowing phones; hasn't had his own iPhone in his hand since July 17th - a 20-something with no phone itself seems monumental - because they're still conducting spot raids on tunnels and 'other targets.'
Meanwhile further back in the interior, at 5pm last night Jacques and I took a neighborhood quiz. If your remote to open the parking gate stops working, you:
a) enjoy a lovely late afternoon walk in your suburban neighborhood
b) have the nice guy in the neighborhood hardware store replace the battery for you for ten shekels
c) photograph the Iron Dome intercepting a missile overhead as you get back home, while your wife crouches near the only building available
d) all of the above
Is it a bird? Is it a cloud? No, it's moving; it's a bomb. It is a long time, a minute and a half, to crouch and wonder what would happen if that bomb you can see in the sky actually hit. Where Eric is, he has a tenth that long to take cover. Some people have nerves of steel. I try to imagine the brave guy who dove into a tunnel after the suicide bomber popped out. What he found inside was grim, and indeed we lost three. Rafiah also lost lives, and tunnels and buildings. Spot raids continue. Seven more soldiers were injured yesterday in Gaza.
And... we are starting to think about the end of the war. Whatever that means. More about that tomorrow.