Locals experience Israel-Gaza conflict first-hand

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- The casualty count continues to climb on both sides of the latest outbreak of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians as much of the world worries about the conflict widening.

It has been a nerve-racking experience for several of local residents who have been in Israel over the last few weeks.

The growing conflict along the Gaza Strip has been playing out on American television screens but being there is very different.

There are rockets aimed at Israeli cities several times a day, with the wail of warning sirens now very common.

Most of the rockets have been shot down by an anti-missile defense system called the Iron Dome. But not all of them.

Avital Ingber, from D.C. just spent three weeks there,including some time near the border with Gaza.

She says it was very scary and now, back in the United States just three days, she still jumps every time she hears a siren.

Ingber works for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and was in Israel on vacation when the latest violence began.

Her co-worker Zach Briton, from Rockville, just got back from Israel on Monday. He says the feeling on the streets of Israel is very much like it was in the Washington region during the 2002 sniper shootings because of the total randomness of where the rockets hit and when.

Briton says the average person wants it all to stop.

There are a number of Americans , including firefighters who have gone to Israel as volunteers to serve as backups for people being called up as reserves in the Israel Defense Force.


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