Operation Pillar of Defense 2012

After a constant onslaught of rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza on the southern towns of Israel, the IDF launched a military operation against Hamas called “Pillar of Defense” in November 2012. As a result, the Israeli communities bordering the Gaza Strip came under intense attack from Hamas. Hope for Israel once again initiated “Operation Restoration” and promptly evacuated hundreds of people from the war-affected areas to safe hotels away from the war. We received many testimonies from people that were helped. Here are a few:

“I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for hosting my family and I out of harms way and away from the sounds of missiles and artillery fire that hit near our home. I am the mother of 4 daughters, one who is a commander in the IDF who serves along the Gaza border. Another daughter of mine is in her last year of high school, the third daughter is in the tenth grade and the fourth in sixth grade. When the fighting broke out, we took cover in our home. For myself and my three daughters who were with me, one of the hardest things to cope with was the thought of my eldest daughter who was putting her life on the line for us. Every sound of a gun firing or an explosion going off tore my heart as I longed to know that my eldest daughter was okay and as I knew that many of the explosions had been aimed for the town in which we live.

For many years, we have suffered through the threat presented by numerous missile and rocket attacks. My 12-year-old daughter has been especially impacted by the fear that these terrorist attacks have caused. It pains my heart to see her innocent face turn pale white every time a siren goes off, to see the unrest that innocent children experience because of the ills of terrorism. Thank you so much for the amazing hospitality during these hard times!

I am a single mother of a beautiful 1-year-old daughter. I am also a nurse in our town. A week ago, when the war began, I had been confident that the tensions would soon end with Gaza. I thought that, as usual with these attacks from Gaza, after a couple days of attacks, we would be able to go back to our lives. This time, it became clear that the attacks would go much longer.

I had literally just moved into my home with my daughter, and hadn’t even set up my by bed before the attacks began. Instead of sleeping safely in my new bedroom, I was forced to sleep in the bomb shelter with my daughter. I had hoped to have an open house to celebrate moving into my new apartment, but the situation in our town only got worse. The frequent explosions shook everything in our home.
Many people offered to host us, but I knew I couldn’t stay with them as long as I would need to, so I was thankful when I got your offer to host me and my neighbors all in one place in Jerusalem. Surrounded by my neighbors, I found encouragement and support. Many of the other mothers arrived only with their children also since their husbands were called in to serve in the military during the conflict. Together, we are able to help one another to lessen the fear. The children have managed to enjoy their time away from the tension with the other children of our town in spite of the interruption to their life and the unfamiliar surroundings. Here, it feels almost like we’ve left the conflict entirely and can just enjoy ourselves even though small things still trigger the fear. Today, we heard someone begin to speak on a megaphone and thought at first that the red alert siren was beginning, and were relieved and found ourselves smiling at each other as we realized that we were still safe. This is something that only residents from near Gaza can truly understand. Shabbat shalom, E.R.”

“Dear Moran,
I sit here trying to find words to express my gratitude for your help. As a mother now for two years, it was hard for me when everything changed in a moment—my husband was called in for military service suddenly and life in our town could no longer continue “as usual”.

Moran, you have no idea how much it warms my heart that in the midst of this crisis, at the height of the tensions, you cared enough to look after us, to make arrangements for us, to open your heart to us. Being hosted by you away from the crisis was especially refreshing for us, a time for our hearts to relax a little and for us to breathe more freely. Thank you! May we one day also host you at our home in Nir Am during more quiet times!

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