Iron Dome

Gaza War Unites Often Fractious Left-Right Divide in Israel Like Never Before

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Palestinians look for survivors under the rubble of the al-Bakri family home destroyed by an Israeli strike in Gaza City.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Israel has drawn international condemnation from many quarters for the deaths of civilians in Gaza as it wages war on Hamas. But most Israelis living in the shadow of the war support their government.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The current armed conflict between Israel and Hamas began in early July.
    • 1,670 Palestinians have died in the conflagration. Most were civilians.
    • In the fighting, 65 Israelis have died. All but two were soldiers.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Adele Raemer is staying put. The latest attacks on Hamas began three weeks ago. Most of the residents of the Nirim Kibbutz, where she lives, have left, and Israeli hoteliers have offered her a free room. Her home is now in a military zone. But Ms. Raemer is not moving.

She is a slight woman, 59 years old. In peacetime, she works as a hospital clown. As she walked around, her eyes darted around, constantly seeking the next wall, the next doorway. If she heard the kibbutz alarm – a female voice that repeats three times Tseva adom, Red Alert – she would have 10 seconds to get to safety.

The border with Gaza is just 1.4 kilometers (0.9 miles) away, so the Nirim Kibbutz is vulnerable to attack from rockets and grenades. The Iron Dome is an air defense system that has repelled around 90 percent of Hamas rockets. In the last few days it has become part of Israeli pop culture, with “I love Iron Dome” printed on T-shirts and hastily-produced YouTube clips popping up.

But the rockets have to fly at a certain height to be blocked by the Iron Dome. The Nirim Kibbutz is not within its shield.

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