On Saturday, Palestinian terrorists from the Hamas militant group launched a surprise attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip as thousands of rockets were launched and hundreds of fighters invaded Israeli communities.
According to reports, dozens of civilians have been killed, injured, or taken hostage as the attack has continued.
Following the unprecedented attack, Israel declared a “state of war” and vowed it would exact “mighty vengeance”.
Express.co.uk has been speaking exclusively to one civilian about what life is like under bombardment and how they feel about the future.
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Alexandra, 28, has lived with her husband, George, 28, in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv since they moved there from Russia before the war in Ukraine.
She said: “Being under bombardment is incredibly frightening. You hear explosions from the missiles being shot down in the sky, and you fear that fragments will hit homes or people.
“I constantly check the news to understand where the danger is at the moment. Additionally, you are always thinking that you might never see your family and friends again, that your dreams and goals won’t be fulfilled, and that the bomb shelter might be the last thing you see.
“I often experience panic attacks, finding it difficult to breathe, and my heart beats rapidly. I wish I could close my eyes and wake up at home in a warm bed, tightly embracing my family.”
In response to the surprise attack, Israel has retaliated against Hamas. In a message to Israelis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “We are at war. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price.”
Following the latest hostilities, Alexandra said she fears retaliation from Hamas. She explained: “They aim to target all Jews solely based on our nationality.
“They are holding innocent people hostage, targeting the elderly, assaulting women, and subjecting children to mockery. The violence they inflict is truly terrifying.”
On life inside the bunker, Alexandra said it was like a “regular room with a metal plate on a window and a reinforced metal door. There is also special air conditioning in case of a nuclear attack.”
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Alexandra explained that bomb shelters are common in some parts of Israel, but not everyone is as lucky.
She explained: “In Israel, new buildings have a bomb shelter in each flat. They have protective windows and doors, and ventilation systems with special filters.
“For older buildings, there are fewer rules: if you have a bomb shelter in the basement – you should run there. If not – run to the inner stairwell and sit on the stairs and not in the floor space.”
Despite the danger and risk to civilian life, Alexandra is confident that Israel will prevail.
She said: “We are afraid, but I know, that our army is protecting us, and we will be the winner.
“Because we together, a lot of people from north Israel have been blood donations today and I believe in our power.”
In a statement after the attacks began, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “I am shocked by this morning’s attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli citizens.
“Israel has an absolute right to defend itself. We’re in contact with Israeli authorities, and British nationals in Israel should follow travel advice.”
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