Every morning, we are awakened by the Tzeva Adom alert. This is one of the most bizarre air raids in history. It starts with the click of a loudspeaker, and then a calm woman’s voice says “Tzeva Adom (Color Red), Tzeva Adom (Color Red)” over and over again. The alert has been difficult to hear at times, especially if you were playing music or watching TV. Last week, two soldiers from the Home Command Unit appeared at our door and handed us a home beeper system that goes off two seconds before the Tzeva Adom alert. So now the loud beeper sound is added to the repertoire.
The moment of the alert, my husband Avi and I jump out of bed and run to our Mamad – our bomb shelter. We huddle there and hug each other waiting to hear the explosion. Sometimes it’s a distant thud. Sometimes it is terrifyingly close, and our house shakes. After about twenty seconds, it’s over. They say that you have a fifteen second warning. Actually, it varies. And once in a while, you will hear a Qassam land without a Tzeva Adom alert. Those are the worst times, because that means there is a very decent chance that someone has been hurt.
Here in Sderot, we are accustomed to Tzeva Adom alerts on a weekly and even daily basis. But last week, the situation reached a new level. On Wednesday, December 24, we received over 60 rockets. The following Saturday, we heard a new sound – airstrikes. It was a strange moment. Finally, after eight years, Israel was taking action. Since then, the Qassam attacks have been endless. In the old days, we knew there could be a Tzeva Adom alert. Now we know there will be.
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